Over the past year I have developed a home practice. I decide when I practice, for how long, what postures and exercises to do, how long to hold them and what to focus on. This has allowed me to begin what teachers call "finding your own practice." As I get to know my own body and mind better I realize that certain exercises and approaches are better for me than others.
When we practice in a classroom with a teacher, it is the teacher who dictates the postures, the pace and the tone. Perhaps this this is why most yogis will gravitate to one teacher or another, because that teacher's guidance coincides with their own tendencies and needs.
Practicing at home takes our individuality one step further. If yoga is the journey toward union within the self, it makes sense that at some point we turn inward to follow the path within.
These days I occasionally take a class with a teacher and other students. I usually find them challenging. Not necessarily physically challenging but difficult to find "my practice." I am not able to reach that deep place in myself that I seek when I am alone. Out of respect for the class I listen to the teacher and follow his or her pace, postures and guidance. But it usually keeps me from reaching that deep internal place that I have begun to find in my own practice.
I wonder if there will come a day when my practice is so stable and so deep that the external guidance of the classroom will feel welcome instead of frustrating and confusing.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga