20 Jan 2015

Build your Personal Practice


Words by Heather Gorder Pantel
Thank you for sharing your practice.  Namaste.

I start at the end in order to develop the beginning: the personal practice.

One of the things that drew me to yoga teacher training was the prospect of deepening my own practice… even though my practice was basically nonexistent aside from a few reps of a sun salutation now and again.  Many of us yogis don’t maintain a personal practice, because it can seem complicated and demanding.  I personally didn’t know what to do for a daily practice or how to guide myself through postures and I depended on a studio class (like a lot of others do out there!) to fulfill sixty minutes of yoga and accomplish a full flow.  

It would be wonderful to be able to attend a studio class every day, but a lot of us yogis out there don’t have the time, cash, or convenience of a nearby studio to maintain this.  If we are lucky enough to have a studio practice what do we do on vacations or Sundays or holidays? 

Start slow

A gentle integration is an essential warm up for more complicated and demanding postures later in your series.  Yoga is extremely dynamic exercise that can place great demands on muscles and joints and it can be only after an injury do we truly recognize the value of slow, steady, and comprehensive warm ups.

Take as long as you like

It is a mistake to trap ourselves into the idea that we must fulfill sixty minutes, that we must get up at 6 am, that we must yada yada yada.  Ten breaths in child’s pose might be what we need today.  Tomorrow might be something more.  The important thing is to breathe and stretch and keep loving yoga.

Now I really mean it, thank you for sharing your practice.  Building a personal practice is extremely rewarding and adds an anytime, anywhere yoga freedom to our lives.

**

About Heather Gorder Pantel

I grew up in Saskatchewan at the edge of the boreal forest with a view of the rolling prairies and I have a great love of this landscape and a desire to write about it.  I have also lived and practiced photography throughout western Canada, I have trained in ceramics in the Kootenays, and completed yoga teacher training in Colorado. My husband and our collection of animals are seeking now a forever home with that same great view I knew as a kid where we can live, love, and practice yoga close to nature.
Examples of my pottery can be seen at www.potteryforthepoeople.com


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