Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yoga Practice Tips for the Holidays, Part 1: Practice Sequence Sheets

What do you do when your yoga class isn't taught for a week or two, such as during the holiday season?   Many of my students come back after the holidays (or after vacation or illness) saying how much they missed their yoga classes, and how stiff they are now, and how glad they are that their yoga class is back in session again.

I'm glad that people miss their yoga classes, and are eager to get back again!   But I also hope that people will take some time to practice on their own in between classes, especially if there's a break of a week or more.   Some of you do practice, but I know that many don't.

Over the next few days, I plan to post a few suggestions for practicing on your own during the holiday season, or for any time you can't attend classes for awhile.   I hope that these ideas will spur you on to practicing at home in between your regular classes as well, and not just during holiday breaks.

Those of you who get the Harmony Yoga of Ann Arbor eNewsletter will have already seen this suggestion:

On the IYNAUS (Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States) site, there are links to practice sequences that you can print out or save to your computer:

Sequences for Yoga Practice (These are pdf files.)

There are four Level 1 sequences, and four Level 2 sequences.    Use these as guidelines for your own practice.   You may not do all of the poses on a sequence, and you might not be able to do the poses as shown.   If you've been taking classes from me for awhile, you'll probably remember how to modify these poses so they are appropriate for your own practice.  Use props as necessary, as we do in class.  For the Gentle Yoga group, use walls and chairs for support.   Ask me before or after class if you're not sure how to modify these poses.

On the sequences there are suggested timings for holding the poses.  You might hold for much shorter times, or you might decide to hold for longer if you're working on stamina.  Don't hold so long that you feel strain in the poses.

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