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Nov 15th

How to Set up your Yoga Space and Creating a Daily Routine

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While I love practicing yoga outside on warm sunny days, it is nice to know you have a space and routine on any day of the year. To make your practice a habit (and what may become the best part of your day), it is a good idea to dedicate a space in your home or office for your practice.  This is a quiet place where you can keep to yourself, a place that makes you feel calm, inspired and at peace.  This could be as little as the size of your yoga mat (like mine) or could be a whole room depending on how much space you have free. The size does not matter, rather the way you feel when you enter this space. To make it inviting, add things that you love, that inspire you.  This could be pictures, candles, plants, statues, love letters, basically any reminders that speak to you.

Once you have your space, it is time to create your daily routine:

  • Set your alarm to go off at least 15 minutes prior to when you have to get up or if you choose to practice later in the day, set an alarm to remind you it is time to practice
  • Go to your space (tell others your intention about this being your time)
  • Try not to get too serious
  • Put on your favorite inspirational music
  • Close your eyes and take note of your breath
  • Try to stay here a few minutes (sitting on a folded blanket or meditation pillow helps, but is not necessary)
  • If you feel you could get lost, set a timer (with a soft ring) for 5 minutes, then 7 and all the way up depending on how much time you want to dedicate
  • Focus on your breath and try to create stillness and space
  • When thoughts come in (and they will), put them in mental piles such as work, relationships, play, even great ideas
  • Try to make your inhale and exhale even (inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, then try 6, 8, etc.)
  • On the inhale, think of positive energy entering your being and on the exhale, think of removing any stress, anything you might be holding on to
  • When your mind gets distracted, simply start with a new breath
  • When time is up, or you are feeling stressed by the process, slowly open your eyes
  • Say your Sankalpa (a positive affirmation) to yourself quietly, take it in and thank yourself for this practice
  • Remember this is an exercise that takes practice, but hopefully will bring you some peace and increase your Quality of Mind

 

Then, while you have the time and space, get moving.  Practicing Sun Salutations is a dedication to the sun, but also a nice away to naturally get energized and/or prepare to take on any day or situation. A daily practice of Sun Salutations will help to improve your strength, balance, flexibility and concentration. This can be done in your yoga space or when the weather is just right, you can take your practice outside, with or without your yoga mat. I personally seek out open fields of grass, gardens, or quiet spaces on the beach- but you can practice just about anywhere.

Half- Sun Salutations:  repeat x 3

  • Inhale reach your arms up over head
  • Exhale fold forward reaching for your toes
  • Inhale look half way up, flatten your back (hands to shins or floor)
  • Exhale fold down
  • Inhale lift your arms over head
  • Exhale press your palms together at the center of your heart

 

Sun Salutations A:  repeat x3

  • Inhale reach your arms up over head
  • Exhale fold forward reaching for your toes
  • Inhale look half way up, flatten your back (hands to shins or floor)
  • Exhale fold down
  • Inhale step or hop back to high plank
  • Exhale knees, chest chin to floor (for experienced, on your knees, or toes through chaturanga, low plank)
  • Inhale lift through your heart, relax your shoulders to upward facing dog
  • Exhale lift your sit bones to downward facing dog (upside down V) (take a few breaths here – explore)
  • Inhale step (or hop) your feet to your hands
  • Exhale fold forward
  • Inhale look half way up, flatten your back (hands to shins or floor)
  • Exhale fold down
  • Inhale lift your arms over head
  • Exhale press your palms together at the center of your heart

 

If the practice moves you, continue with some standing, seated, and/or supine poses. As always, stay well and enjoy the journey. Namaste!

Kristin Ritter is a Registered Yoga Instructor and Holistic Health Coach that works with passion seekers looking to set out on a new path, whether it be transitioning to find one’s place in their work, relationships and/ or overall well-being. She works in private, group sessions and workshops, helping her clients find their authentic selves by setting goals and actions steps that align with their true nature, providing a wealth of support and love along the way. Kristin can be contacted at Kristin@nourishingstorm.com  or www.NourishingStorm.com.

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