Some Reflections on Practicing at Home

  • I just received an email from a long-time student at IYH. She is in the process of buying props and establishing a home practice using the free videos on our site. She mused that her practice space is different to being at the studio and that she is having problems balancing.
    In contrast, Shelley and I have a well-established home practice and a great practice space which was designed into our house when we renovated. We have individualized props and a rope wall.
    However, we find that currently our practice is distracted and unsteady.
    Due to the massive changes in our lifestyle and a time of great anxiety, the Earth element has been disturbed and the Air element is dominant in our constitution.
    How can we expect it to be any other way?
    Yoga practice is not there to please the mind, body, and senses. If we practice for these reasons, eventually we will create mental disturbance and dissatisfaction. Our practice reflects the state of the mind-body. It is a mirror of the condition of the outer self. In practice we face the reality of what we are.
    Don’t expect your home practice to be the same as being in class. Don’t expect today’s practice to be the same as yesterday’s. You may start out with a plan to practice one thing and realize instead that you should change your approach.
    For now I advise that you do an immune support sequence every 2-3 days and then add a good “earthing” practice to bring emotional balance.
    We are planning to add an online class soon which is designed to balance the Earth and Air elements in the right proportion. This will involve lots of standing poses and we are excited to get into it!
    This great dance of the material world is in a constant state of change. Our world has now been turned upside down, and we also know that this can happen at any time again. Yoga teaches us that we should understand that this is the state of the material world and we should not to be disturbed.
    For those of you who are daunted by the prospect of establishing a home practice, my advice is: Just make a start. No matter how clumsy or messy it is. Yoga smiles on all who approach with devotion and sincerity. It will work out in time. Don’t worry.
    Practice with trust and confidence. We are pure consciousness, not a mind-body which is subject to this dance of change. In your practice, look to realize this and find peace.
    Love from me and Shelley,