Daily Yoga Practice

by Nadine Truong
June 17, 2015

Yoga practice changed my life in so many ways, I can’t even count. It healed many old wounds, both emotionally and physically. Yoga provided me with tools to become a stronger, more confident and thoughtful person. It taught me to be more humble and self-accepting. Most importantly, I learned there was no magic pill to achieve any of the above. All I could do was to get on my mat repeatedly, and let the poses come to me whenever they deemed that I was truly ready.  And that would never have happened, had I not committed to a consistent practice.

It can take some courage to wean yourself away from a yoga teacher, but that is part of the process. We are here to guide you for as long as you’ll allow us, but in the end, we don’t want you to be attached to anything or anyone.  As a teacher, it is my honor and duty to provide you with the knowledge necessary to keep you safe as you move through your asanas, but my hope – and that of any good teacher – is that you take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply the lessons in your own daily life. Yoga is about conquering your own fears, taking control of your own breath, and connecting with your inner life on a very personal level. It requires solitude of the mind. What better way than to roll out your mat in the privacy of your own home, and having the bravery to reflect on your own destiny without the chatter of a teacher, without the downward dogging neighbor in the corner of your eyes, and without the need to perform a pose for anyone but yourself?

It’s always a good idea to transition aspects you have learned in class to your home practice. Have props or prop substitutes ready: Mat, blocks, straps, chair, bolster, and a towel. Silence your phone. Unplug from the world. Perhaps put on some calming music, or leave a yoga DVD or podcast running low in the background. Often times, carving out a special place in your home that you call your sacred yoga place, can help direct positive energy and establish a ritual that will soon become second nature to you.

Home practice does not need to be as rigorous or as comprehensive as a regular full hour class. You could do just two sun salutations in the morning as you rise and shine. Alternatively, if your practice has taken you to a more advanced level, you could spend a full hour on a particular arm balance you’d like to tackle. Maybe today, you will stick with some restorative minutes, and tomorrow you try a whole sequence. Listen to your body. Let it be your teacher. Let it guide you and let you know what you need and yearn. Over time, you will develop a stronger sense of your true self.  In really paying attention, you can keep up a DAILY practice, no matter how small or short each session is. That is a gift you are gifting to yourself.