Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Home Practice Space

I thought you might enjoy seeing where I practice when not at the shala...

As you might be able to guess, this room also doubles at my office.  My computer sits to the far left of my desk.  A filing cabinet which supports another printer is just visible in the lower left corner.

There used to be an elliptical trainer and a Bowflex machine wedged in here (hence the gym-style mirror).  However, when I started yoga and quickly determined it was a life-changer, I got rid of those pieces of equipment in order to have a dedicated yoga space.

My husband Steve and I are getting ready to paint this room.  We've already finished the ceiling and the swatches on the wall are colors we're NOT going with.  I've opted for a lighter, cheerier blue-green instead.

(My ultimate goal is to transform one of our upstairs bedrooms into a space solely devoted to yoga but that room currently has carpet and will need a total redo before it's ready.  Plus we have a lot of other home improvements that take priority on our "to do" list, so this is where I practice for now.)

I have two yoga mats (both Manduka eKO).  One stays in the car for trips to the studio and the other one lives here, on the floor of my office/yoga room.  I have a vibrant home practice, which I love.  The fact that I keep everything set up in a designated space helps me to get on the mat on a regular basis.  Sometimes I practice Ashtanga at home and sometimes I guide myself through a more organic-style flow practice.  Either way, it usually takes me approximately 2 hours - 2 hours 10 minutes.

For me, the real gift of a home practice comes in the form of time... Time to spend working on whatever has me stumped at the present moment.  Don't you hate it in class when the teacher calls out a pose that you have yet to perfect become comfortable with and you've just about got it and then she and the rest of the class are already onto a vinyasa?  Or likewise in Ashtanga - those 5 breaths go by REALLY fast when there's a bit of a struggle going on.  Anyway, that's what I love about my home practice.  It gives me the ability to work through stuff like Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Pressing Pose), for example, four or five times if need be.  It's a real luxury.

Here's Kino demonstrating a modification for Bhujapidasana that I'm currently working on, followed by the true expression of the pose.

The bottom line is that both my practice and my progress wouldn't be nearly what they are without my efforts at home.  I love the shala and the instant motivation that environment provides, but there's something really special about getting on your mat alone at home.  It's just you and the breath.  If you've never tried it, I would encourage you to give it a go!

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