scottcraft

For those who practice at home

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How do you go about having a balanced practice at home? I tend to pick a video that focuses on a weak area like hamstrings, but I don't think that's best for my whole body. 

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At first I tried to alternate more active days with days of a more restorative practice, but it felt too vague, like I wasn't getting the most out of my practice. Then I found this site and followed Candace's yoga programs for a while and it worked beautifully.

However, for the past few months I've come up with a schedule to help me plan my practice, so I don't have to think too hard about which video to follow. Mondays are heart opening days, Tuesdays are ashtanga/power yoga days, Wednesdays are about deep backbending. Thursdays are about shoulders and forearm balance preparation while Fridays are hip opening days. Saturdays are for focusing on foot balances and Sundays are my wildcard day.

Of course, flexibility is allowed and it all comes down to how I feel when I step on the mat, but it feels nice to have this structure for fall back into.

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45 minutes ago, Hildegard said:

At first I tried to alternate more active days with days of a more restorative practice, but it felt too vague, like I wasn't getting the most out of my practice. Then I found this site and followed Candace's yoga programs for a while and it worked beautifully.

However, for the past few months I've come up with a schedule to help me plan my practice, so I don't have to think too hard about which video to follow. Mondays are heart opening days, Tuesdays are ashtanga/power yoga days, Wednesdays are about deep backbending. Thursdays are about shoulders and forearm balance preparation while Fridays are hip opening days. Saturdays are for focusing on foot balances and Sundays are my wildcard day.

Of course, flexibility is allowed and it all comes down to how I feel when I step on the mat, but it feels nice to have this structure for fall back into.

Thanks for the input! I should probably follow a similar schedule. I started focusing on hamstrings and hips because that seemed to be the most immediate need, but the rest of my body needs work too.

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I typically work on upper body one day and lower the next, with pretty consistent core work. Sometimes I just do full body after a restorative day. It really depends. But a lot of the yoga flows I do really work the whole body anyway!

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A good thing to do is just find something you like and enjoy. The most important part is to stick with it everyday. If you enjoy it the more likely you will do it.
You can do the same thing everyday for years or change everyday. Something in between is likely best.
There are thousands of poses in modern yoga. There are only a small number of basic movements for all these poses, maybe 15 -20, something like that, not many. As long as you include the basics in every practice you have done everything you need to do. And most practices include most of the basic movements. Even sun salutations that look so simple cover most of the basics.
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32 minutes ago, Anahata said:
A good thing to do is just find something you like and enjoy. The most important part is to stick with it everyday. If you enjoy it the more likely you will do it.
You can do the same thing everyday for years or change everyday. Something in between is likely best.
There are thousands of poses in modern yoga. There are only a small number of basic movements for all these poses, maybe 15 -20, something like that, not many. As long as you include the basics in every practice you have done everything you need to do. And most practices include most of the basic movements. Even sun salutations that look so simple cover most of the basics.

Thanks Anahata! Would sun salutations in addition to my regular rotation of videos be a good thing? I've never done sun salutations, so I'll watch that video when I get home.

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42 minutes ago, scottcraft said:

...Would sun salutations in addition to my regular rotation of videos be a good thing?...

The salutations are a great warm up (after you've done your pre-yoga warm up) routine.

It's a combination of bends, counter bends, strength, breathing, posture, etc.

IMHO, no matter where you take your practice, the salutations are a great way to start.

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2 hours ago, LarryD517 said:

The salutations are a great warm up (after you've done your pre-yoga warm up) routine.

It's a combination of bends, counter bends, strength, breathing, posture, etc.

IMHO, no matter where you take your practice, the salutations are a great way to start.

I don't really have a pre-yoga warm up. What do you recommend?

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48 minutes ago, scottcraft said:

I don't really have a pre-yoga warm up. What do you recommend?

It's really up to you, based on what you feel needs warming up.

You can do rag doll and legs on the wall to warm up your hamstrings, you can sit in various cross legged positions to loosen up your hips, you can do cat/cow/thread the needle to loosen up your spine.

In a live class, I look at the others and see what they do...and copy them, too!

Basically, what I do is take various yoga moves and work on them before the practice starts...to focus on the specific part of the body that needs it.


Try some of these https://www.bing.com/search?q=warm+up+yoga&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

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On 11/18/2015, 9:31:08, scottcraft said:

Thanks Anahata! Would sun salutations in addition to my regular rotation of videos be a good thing? I've never done sun salutations, so I'll watch that video when I get home.

22 hours ago, scottcraft said:

I don't really have a pre-yoga warm up. What do you recommend?

The first thing to do is try to become more aware of your breathing and Sun Salutations will help with that. Just take it easy for the first one or 2. Most of the movements that you will do in other practices are in Sun Salutation A YBC Video. So it is a great warm up. Then continue with your regular practice.

Sun Salutations are good to do at the start of a practice. But they are traditionally done as a single practice first thing in the morning before breakfast. This is a very good thing to do. Many people have noticed very dramatic changes in their life or well-being by practicing this way every day. Things like positive brain functioning, better physical health, maybe have to change diet (eat more or better) to help increase muscle mass, many others.

There are 3 different Sun Salutations. Start with 'A' version. People have taken these 3 and made many changes to the sequence. But it is not really a good idea to make changes.  The 3 below are the correct or traditional sequence. Try to follow the the ones below and don't make any changes until you understand why you would want to make the changes. It is good to take easier versions of the poses but don't modify the sequence. In the links below you can click on the title of each pose for a full teaching of the individual poses plus variations to make the pose easier to start.

http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-sun-salutation-a-in-yoga

http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-sun-salutation-b-in-yoga

http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-sun-salutation-c-in-yoga

Be sure to always have the movement follow the breath. This is extremely important. It is much better to modify the poses to easier versions and focus on lengthening and strengthen the breath.

Some say that sun salutations are 3000 years old. Others say they are a modern invention. But all we really need to know is they work. And believe whatever makes us feel good.

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I should have mentioned before; just do 'A' version for now until you have learned it very well and comfortable with it. Then move on to 'B' then 'C'

These are also some good videos to help. Some things may look impossible at this time but we just keep practicing. There is easier modifications shown in both videos.

Explanatory Surya Namaskara A

Learning Surya Namaskara A for Beginners in Ashtanga Yoga (Sun Salutations)

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1 hour ago, Anahata said:

I should have mentioned before; just do 'A' version for now until you have learned it very well and comfortable with it. Then move on to 'B' then 'C'

These are also some good videos to help. Some things may look impossible at this time but we just keep practicing. There is easier modifications shown in both videos.

Explanatory Surya Namaskara A

Learning Surya Namaskara A for Beginners in Ashtanga Yoga (Sun Salutations)

Thanks, those videos were very helpful! I did some sun salutations yesterday and Friday following the ybc video you posted earlier. It's going to take a bit to get used to moving with my breath. My up dog is pretty bad too, but that's another issue for another thread!

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On 16 November 2015 at 13:46:18, Hildegard said:

At first I tried to alternate more active days with days of a more restorative practice, but it felt too vague, like I wasn't getting the most out of my practice. Then I found this site and followed Candace's yoga programs for a while and it worked beautifully.

However, for the past few months I've come up with a schedule to help me plan my practice, so I don't have to think too hard about which video to follow. Mondays are heart opening days, Tuesdays are ashtanga/power yoga days, Wednesdays are about deep backbending. Thursdays are about shoulders and forearm balance preparation while Fridays are hip opening days. Saturdays are for focusing on foot balances and Sundays are my wildcard day.

Of course, flexibility is allowed and it all comes down to how I feel when I step on the mat, but it feels nice to have this structure for fall back into.

That's a really helpful schedule. Thanks for sharing 

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I"m new and hope to get better. Thanks for the comments. Practice makes perfect or closer than you were. :)

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This where I'm a little weak because I've gotten a little lazy on the yoga (I got in a bad place and my yoga suffered a bit.) When I did yoga everyday though, I often picked what I felt like doing though. Some people do best with scheduling certain things for certain days, but I often get cranky and start hating my exercise when I do that. If my body feels like it wants legs, I do legs. Flexibility, it's a flexibility day. Core? CORE! Need a hatha day; well, I do a hatha day.

I feel like everyone is a little different in this aspect. If you need a regimen, do a regimen. If you are more the, "This will be the balm for my soul" person, be that person.

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What I did was that I wrote down the days of the week on a piece of paper. I went through my body, top to bottom and scanned which areas I'm injured, have less flexibility, and feel could use improvement.  Then I started to write down what areas of the body to focus on and assigning it to a day of the week, making sure to leave at least a day in between the same body region being worked on.

I find when my motivation is low that I like to watch videos because then my goal is to finish the video and I end up doing my full 30-60 min of yoga instead of giving up after 5-10 min.

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