Yoga instructors in the classroom often talk about the importance of personal, independent practice. But how to start it?
© Corbis /
People come to yoga in different ways. Someone first tries to perform asanas in a fitness club, someone masters yoga at home from a book. Can these inept attempts to do yoga be called personal practice? On the one hand, of course, yes! Everything that we do on the path of yoga is our practice. On the other hand, it is difficult for a beginner to build his classes in such a way that they meet the needs of his body and bring maximum benefit.
Yoga gives a serious load to all muscles and joints. Only with the correct position of the spine and proper breathing, asanas are beneficial, otherwise they can do harm. That is why it is better to start training under the guidance of an experienced instructor, who will control and help overcome difficulties. In addition, mastering yoga from a book or disc, you are limited in the choice of asanas and their sequences. During the “live” lessons you try much more interesting variations. And you can recharge your batteries with energy, be inspired by the example of an instructor, ask him questions and ask for an individual consultation.
Yoga classes at home
And so you visit the club several times a week. Why now practice yoga on your own at home? Then, that way you will no longer depend on the club’s schedule and on the instructor. And you can do as much as you want and how you want at any time of the day – on the rug or without, in silence or to the music. In some position, you can stay longer, and the one that does not work, repeat several times. A huge plus of personal practice is that no one is distracting and you can dive deeper into asanas and breathing techniques, it is better to feel their effect.
Of course, for personal practice you need to mature. And it’s hard to predict when you will be ready for this. After several classes, some feel confident enough to practice on their own, while others require a couple of years. Focus on your feelings: no one, even the most experienced specialist, knows your body better than you.
We are all unique, therefore, each person has his own personal practice. And yet there are a number of general recommendations.
Tips for Beginning Yoga Practice
1. Try to repeat at home what you worked in the gym, but do not blindly copy what you did with the instructor, adapt, adjust it for yourself. Be creative in your process.