Building your Home Practice…Childs pose

Everyone I talk to says they don’t have a home practice because ‘they aren’t disciplined enough’ or ‘they can’t push themselves as hard as a teacher can’. That they just don’t know what to do! I think we are making this idea of home practice too hard. Why do you have to do an hour and a half power yoga class at home? Seriously! Why? …. My home practice is Simple. Sedate. Quiet. When I want a ‘kick butt practice’ I either take a class or go to the gym or studio when the room is empty and kick my own butt! But at home I take it easy. I usually don’t have an extra hour and a half at home and I bet you don’t either. So maybe, at the beginning, just keep it simple….

Start with Child pose. A pose that seems so simple but can bring a complexity to your practice. Especially if you’re like me and find that being still is a challenge. Come to your mat, on your knees, sit back on your heels and lower your head towards the mat. The object here is to get the hips on the heels, and over time allow the head to reach the floor. You can take the knees wide allowing the belly and chest to drop toward the floor or keep them together. If it’s a challenge to get your head to the floor, use a block or a small pillow or even your fists, and rest your head. Remember that you want the  center of your forehead making the contact, not your hairline or the crown of your head. Once in Childs pose resist the urge to make your ‘to do’ list or to let your mind wander. Keep your awareness on your breath and for 5 full breaths try to stay still and relaxed.

When you’re ready slowly sit on your heels or in Sukasana (simple crossed legs), take a few deep breaths, roll up your mat and get on with your day.

See that wasn’t too hard, maybe 5 minutes out of your day. No, I suppose it didn’t build your core awareness or your upper body strength. No you probably didn’t sweat buckets, but how do you feel?  You did the hardest part; you came to your mat with mindfulness and an attention to your breath and now you have a starting place for your home practice. Next time we’ll add a little more. See you then.

OmShanti

 

Developing your Home Practice

It takes courage and intelligence, you know, to do the stages of Yoga right, and to start with this Hatha Yoga… It’s just you and nothing but you, standing in one spot frozen like a statue with no place to go for help or excuse or scapegoat except inward. …..Bikram Choudhury

 

Winter is here, that means less outdoor activities and events, leaving us more time to devote to or perhaps develop a home yoga practice. You don’t need much to start your personal yoga practice, just a space big enough for your mat. Begin by choosing a quiet, uncluttered space in your home and stock it with the just the basics, definitely a mat. But maybe some blocks and a blanket too. You can also add a bolster or a few big pillows. But really all you need is the space and to know & understand that the space you choose is sacred . Even if it’s in the middle of the living room floor, when you’re on your mat both the space & the time become sacred.

There are 2 ways to look at your home practice either as an addendum to your class practice or as the main event, using classes as a way to facilitate the learning process. Taking what you learn in class back to your home practice. Maybe you use your home practice to build on your class practice; to practice what you learn in class.

Home practice requires more that just rolling out your mat. Most people get that far but as soon as the mat hits the floor they don’t know what to do next.

Your personal practice requires intuition and personal insights and that level of  intuition and maturity will come with time and … you guessed it ‘practice’ but it is worth the time and effort, it will help you to grow as a yogi.

Start by simply rolling out your mat everyday and making that a ritual. Then just do 1 pose! Just one, no more no less. Maybe do your favorite pose, or maybe its just 5 min of Savasana . But just start with one.

Over the next few weeks, I will be teaching about the need for a home practice and the best ways for you to get started.

If you can’t  make it to my Saturday class at Yoga East, join us on the blog for updates and poses to help you build your home practice.

Here are a few pic’s of my yoga space. It doubles as my sewing/craft room. If men have a “man caves” what do woman have? And thats my beautiful Heidi, keeping my mat warm for me.

Om Shanti

Cheryl

Fierce!

fierce adj.  Having a savage and violent nature; ferocious. cruel. Extremely severe or violent; terrible: very disagreeable or unpleasant.

Or is it………

In yoga Fierce refers to a new level of intensity, a higher excellence,  it means to be eager, vehement, or strong.

 It means to be  Bold……

Take on life with confidence, defy your critics, aim for the highest peak, swim the deepest ocean.  Be courageous!

Seek your truth while others hide their heads. To be Fierce is to find courage and strength but being cautious as well. If someone stands in our way we move them with our actions, not beat them over the head or hurt them with our words. Fierce is strong and flexible. Strong enough to speak our truth and to stand up for who we are. But flexible enough to know there are many ways in the world, many paths and to fiercely respect the truth of others.

Fierce Pose with a twist

Om Shanti

The places I call Om………Fit One Gym

I teach and train at some wonderful facilities, I plan on writing a little something about each one of them. Highlighting owners, management, the classes I teach,  my history there and the folks I work with.

Lets start with Fit One Gym…….

Goodness Where do I start? I am deeply entrenched at Fit One, it really is a home away from home.

A brief history in time……………..

In January 2006 I hired on at FitOne as the General Manager. Working alongside the owners Jane & Jerry, I was responsible for everything from general staffing issues to scheduling classes, pay roll to maintenance, and everything in between.  That included of course teaching many classes and doing a little personal training. Fitone is a 16,000+sf Multi purpose community centered facility, part Gym and part mini spa all rolled into one. The Gym has 2 group fitness rooms, large strength training and cardio areas and a wonderful childcare center. Upstairs is home to an upscale hair salon, massage therapy and aesthetics. FitOne has never stopped growing. They have added a 2nd building with an all-purpose room used for everything from Silver Sneakers classes to wedding showers to small church group meetings.

I was GM for 4 years before stepping down to Fitness Director. I needed to spend a little more time with my family and I was planning a long yoga training in Atlanta, and while it was a hard decision to make, it worked out best for everyone, Jane & Jerry didn’t need a GM anymore they had already taken on much of the day-to-day running of the gym, the change made sense.

I have met so many wonderful people at FitOne and made many life long friends. Julie, Caleb, Suzanne, Nissie, Ali, Ashley, Karyn, Rachel, Richard, Jen, Jonathon, my many Lisa’s, the list is endless. Julie, Caleb, Suzanne, Claudia, Jonathon and I were there the day they opened the doors. We became more than friends, more than family we were each others support system. We could bitch and cry to each other or laugh with each other. Those early days were amazing, lots of hard work and long hours but it was a magical time.

 Julie, Caleb and I were the 3 musketeers; the universe had put the 3 of us there, together, for a reason. And along with Jane & Jerry, 2 of the kindest people I know, we we’re quite a team and I love them all dearly. In August of 2010 I went ahead and stepped down as Fitness director, I had taken a part-time job at a bank and that just didn’t leave enough hours in the day for everything. I still teach there and train a few, select clients.

Fitone continues to grow and thrive, serving their community with a passion for fitness and a commitment to everyone who comes through their doors. It will always be my Gym home. Many Blessings to all those who have come into my life via FitOne. I love you all.

 I have so very many friends at Fit One, maybe I should write something about each one 🙂    Food for though…hummmm……