Maybe yoga has just come into your life and the sensations provided by this practice nourished you to a point that you feel to rock this as a real lifestyle. Or maybe you just need to create this sacred space where you can sit, relax and check in with yourself from time to time. However, creating this space in your life can make your own ritual a pure bliss and a “must do” during your day.
Here are some awesome tips to make your practice a ritual wherever you are.
1. Clean up the space
Wherever you are, make space for your practice and roll out your mat (or your beach blanket) somewhere you feel good. Burn out some sage to clean the energy, bring your favorite crystal, stone or mala and leave it on your mat as your best partner.
2. Check in
Put on your favorite tunes and take a moment to allow yourself to simply settle and relax. Make yourself comfy by sitting on a pillow, on your favorite Mexican blanket, on a yoga block or simply on the ground. Make yourself tall by lengthening the spine and grounding the sitting bones, allowing the breath to float easily inside of your body. Gently close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how your belly is moving? How your upper body is moving? What do you feel when you inhale? When you exhale? Bring awareness to your breath, make it slow and allow yourself to soften totally. While you are breathing, check in with your body and ask yourself those five questions that we call “The daily love meditation”:
-How is my body right now?
-How is my breath?
-How am I feeling emotionally?
-How connected do I feel? How connected do I feel to my breath and to my heart?
-What do I need to give myself at this moment?
Answer these questions while you are breathing/opening the space for consciousness and yoga. Don’t rush anything. The simple fact that you are there and gently breathing allow you to realize that you actually ARE, and that’s the most important thing. Being there. Doing these actions. Breathing.
3. Set an intention
A personal practice could be uncomfortable at first. Don’t stress the factthat you have no idea how to build a yoga sequence or how to adjust your alignment in your asanas (poses). Bring an honest intention for your practice and let this one inspire your movements. It could be “My intention today is…”
- to give myself some love… -to honor my self-confidence…
- to energize my body… -to slow down
- to have some rest… -Etc…
- to have fun…
4. Warm up
Be gentle with yourself, especially if you are just starting the day. Allow your breath to deepen and use it to light every corner of your body. In a sitting position, start to slowly move your neck and your shoulders to warm up your body, one breath at the time. Roll out into balasana (the child’s pose) and slowly reach a cat/cow position to move your spine and your shoulders. Take your time to feel every movement with every breath and follow a transition to a stand-up position and feel free to stretch a bit from side to side. Once you are there, the variations of lunges, planks and downward facing dogs (Sun Salutations) are good to open and bring the flow to your practice. Feel free to adjust yourself into different variations of the plank during this routine.
5. Asanas; make it natural
From variations of Sun Salutations to some standing poses, sitting poses, balance poses and backbends, etc… Be creative by using the movement as an extension of your breath. No judgment, no hurry, build a yoga sequence from your intention or from a peak pose that you want to reach and simply let this inspiration guide your practice. Are you working with opened hips or closed hips? What do you need to build to reach your peak pose? Do you need to activate the core or increase balance? Be wild and let your intuition links all of those poses all together. And of course, you could also try to avoid any planning and simply let things go and see how it goes! And then you might just find yourself dancing all around your mat and it’s pretty alright!
6. Savasana; have a rest
At the end of your routine, have a quiet time where you lay down on the ground opening yourself to the sky. This moment is one of the most important moments of your practice, it gives time to integrate all the benefits of your breath and movements nourishing all the layers of your being. Allow yourself to slow things down as much as your breath and your heartbeat. Come back to the earth and take this moment to feed all of your cells with gratitude and light!
Have fun! Namaste.
Is there any other tips we should include in our yoga practice?
Up next: How Yoga Changes my Life