It’s Wellness Month here at alice & lois. Our goal has been to make wellness a priority in our lives. One way to achieve that is to incorporate fitness into our daily lives. I have been striving for years to make yoga a part of my life. I never seem to have the time (or confidence) to make it to a class, so I have slowly integrated a yoga home practice into my life. We asked our good friend Laurie Eagle how to start and sustain a yoga home practice. Laurie is a motivation, she has made yoga a way of life. A lot of her advice rings true for me, like the fact that you don’t have to do a full hour at home. I’ve had a lot of success doing shorter practices. Even if it’s 20 or 30 minutes, it’s so worth it.
What are the benefits of a yoga home practice?
There are so many benefits of a home yoga practice. First, it allows us to move or not move how we would like to. There is no one guiding us but our own breath and our body. It gives us a chance to really listen. Home practice does not cost any money. We can simply unroll our mat anywhere in our house. It allows us to not rush off to a class. So often, we “pack it in” and that includes our yoga practice. Home practice allows us to look to our excuses of why and how we show up to ourselves and our mat. It also provides discipline. It allows us to transform to the tempting objects that surround us – our computers, phones, housework, television or whatever our distraction might be.
Read more to find out Laurie’s tips on creating and sustaining a yoga home practice.
Give us some tips on how to incorporate home practice into your daily or weekly schedule?
As a busy mom and small business owner, I find incorporating yoga into my daily routine serves me the best. A yoga practice does not always need to be an hour or hour and a half as practiced in a studio or gym. Often I’ll do a little morning stretch, practice breathing techniques and incorporate poses throughout the day (maybe some squats, forward folds, handstands, downward facing dogs) and I’ll end my day with a little wind down on my back. Another nourishing practice is to include a gratitude practice at the beginning or end of the day.
Many people can start yoga at home, but how do you sustain it?
Keep it simple. The simpler we make our practice the easier it is to keep it going. When we begin to see the positive benefits of our yoga practice in our lives, we will want more. That is why we call yoga a practice. Everyday is a new practice. One day it will be easy to show up for practice, the next day, more challenging. And, we practice, not beating ourselves up if we miss a day or a few days. Just simply noticing and becoming aware, without attachment.
What do you need for a home practice? What kind of space, what kind of gear?
Really, we don’t need anything but an openness to show up. With modern yoga, we have several props to choose from. I would suggest investing in a good, sticky mat. It changes our asana (pose) practice when we don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding. I also like working with all of the props – blocks, straps, blankets and bolsters. We are at home and we should make it as comfortable and supportive as possible.
As for space – find a space in your home, deck or yard that feels good. Try out a few different places. Maybe you have a few different places that feel good. Explore them all. Maybe you choose one sacred place and build a little alter of things (pictures, deities, candles, crystals, mementos, healing bowl). Or, head out to the park and nature and pactice there.
Why are home practice and group classes a good combo?
Home practice is convenient and provides its own challenges and discipline. Group classes pose a different setting with other yogis – sharing in community, movement, breath and energy. Group classes allow us to connect with others and work with teachers while improving our asana practice. It is a different way to learn, grow and explore.
What are tips for maintaining an at home yoga practice?
Keep it simple. A few poses at a time will work. Focus on your breath to help quiet the mind chatter and to feel your body breathe. Leave your mat out so you can hop on it at anytime.
What are your favorite sites/dvds?
I love Yogaglo! You can customize your yoga practice to meet your needs with very experienced teachers.
Favorite morning practice?
Lying on my back on the ground. Holding my knees into my chest, massaging my lower back as I rock back/forth and side/side. Taking gentle twists, threading the needle and happy baby. Allowing for 10 long breaths in each pose. Taking it slowly. Often followed by a few sun salutations.
Do you have a recommended evening routine?
Of course! Some favorite evening poses include – Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana – helps relieve headaches and insomnia), Child’s pose (Balasana – calms mind and relieves tension in the body), Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (resting the torso on a bolster is delicious), Bound Angle pose on your back (Supta Baddha Konasana), Thread the Needle, Reclined Twists, Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani), and Plow pose.
Laurie Eagle has been practicing and studying yoga for 20 years. Her studies include Hatha, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, Vinyasa Flow & Pre/Post Natal yoga. Laurie is certified to teach both Vinyasa Flow and the YogaWorks style of yoga. She completed two – 200 hour teacher trainings. The first with Janet Stone whom she continues to study with and the second through YogaWorks with John Gaydos and Rachael Simmons. Laurie is also certified to teach Pre/Post Natal yoga and is a Personal Trainer. She can be reached at eagleyoga.net.
photos courtesy Eagle Yoga. all rights reserved