Your life is turned completely upside down. You have an endless to do list. You check one thing off and add 10 more. You can’t stick to your normal schedule. You wake up every morning exhausted. You set the intention to practice every day, but end up sleeping instead. Sound familiar?
Remember that practice will help you get through these difficult times, so it’s better to practice every day then to not practice at all.
It seems like my life is always in an intense transition, so I have a good amount of experience with this. The first time this happened, I struggled to fit in my whole practice. I tried changing my practice to nights, but that didn’t work because I would get home and just want to chill. A friend would call to grab dinner, and instead of saying, “No, I have to practice,” I’d go and hang out.
Even though mornings and nights are beneficial, morning practice always wins. I prefer to let the energy of the practice carry me through the day and have my nights free.
Once you decide on your practice time, schedule it in and keep it consistent.
If you’re experiencing insanity, here’s a guide on how to modify your yoga practice and still keep it traditional and consistent.
A. Always start with the opening mantra <click here> (You can even chant it with me every morning)!
B. Five Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutations)
C. Five Surya Namaskara B
Sun Salutations are the most important because they teach you how to slow down, steady the breath, and steady the mind. Don’t think of these as a warm up. Sun Salutations are really their own separate practice, and should be treated like that.
D. Three Urdhva Dhanurasana (Backbends or Bridges): Always try to push up unless you have a known injury – even if you just lift up to your head. If it feels impossible, or if you’re a little scared – still try.
E. Forward Bend – Always hold a forward bend for 10 to 15 breaths after backbends to release any pressure from the lower back, or any area focusing on the spine.
F. Three Closing Postures: These are just as important as the Sun Salutations. Even if you don’t have time for backbends, make time for The Closing Three. Hold each of these for 10 of your deepest breaths. When you get to Utpluthih, tune in, and don’t shorten the breath.
G. Chant the Closing Mantra with me! <click here>
H. Take Savasana (final resting posture): Hold this for at least 10 minutes, and try not to fall asleep. It’s common to fall asleep, but the purpose is to increase your awareness and let go of distractions. During sleep the mind becomes distracted.
I attended a Kino MacGregor workshop, and she mentioned that Guruji still considered this a full Ashtanga Practice. I personally find that if I am going through transitions, and I take a step back committing to this format, then it’s only a matter of time before my full practice returns.
Practice is your path to inner peace, so plan your life around your practice, not the other way around.
Good luck and Namaste!