As part of my YTT I have to do a daily yoga practice. It’s not so much that I’m forced to have a daily practice but more to take care of ourselves and for us to get in the habit of self-practice for when we qualify as a lot of new teachers neglect their self-practice.
Numerous things are classed as yoga practice: yoga asana, pranayama, meditation to name a few and doesn’t mean I have to do an Asana practice every day, though that’s exactly what it was for me in the beginning. I was doing a yoga asana practice nearly every day until I got to a point at the beginning of this year where I was away with work and ill so wasn’t able to do that. That’s when I started to do more of a meditation practice. Up until that point I never really did a meditation practice at home, at least not a regular one so it felt a bit alien at the beginning but I started to experiment with different types and times of when I’d do meditation practice. There are so many different kinds of meditation practices out there. I started with different guided meditation practices in the beginning at different lengths to suit my needs that day. For me personally meditation practice works best right before I go to bed and I do the practice itself in bed, rather than on the mat. After about two months of guided meditation and following a lecture I had as part of my YTT, I started to do a couple of mins of pranayama practice before the guided meditation, mainly Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril breathing) to balance the two sides of the brain. After a few days I then decided I don’t want/need a guided meditation practice anymore, so after Nadi Shodhana I set a timer for 5 minutes and just concentrated on my breathing. Every time my mind was wondering, I brought my focus back to my breathing. I can’t actually believe what difference this evening practice has made. I sleep a lot better, I am able to deal with stress better, helps me focus, connects me to myself to name a few. Meditation practice is also very helpful when you are run down and physically can’t practice asana yoga. Just a few minutes of meditation can make a big difference, go and try for yourself.
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