5 Lists Of Five To Improve Your Personal Yoga Practice.

1. THE DAILY MEDITATION FIVE

  1. The Right Place –  Ideally facing East or North. Clean. Quiet. Not the bedroom (it's a sleepy place and you need to feel awake!)
  2. The Right Things –  Set up your mat, candle, incense, cushion and blanket the night before.
  3. The Right Time –  Before the rest of the house wakes up. Early as possible. Before breakfast. (or later in the evening ... )
  4. The Right Preparation –  As soon as your alarm goes - Get up! Wash yourself, brush your teeth, drink a class of hot water, put on your yoga clothes.
  5. The Right Intention –  Before and after your practice say something inspiring to yourself. Remind yourself why you're doing it.

2. THE HABIT FIVE

  1. Plan –  Write it down. What you plan to do and why for the next month.
  2. Triggers –  Think of natural triggers to remind you. ie. Shower, then yoga. Put on the right clothes, then yoga. Pick up favourite blanket, then meditate.
  3. Share –  Tell your friends what you're doing. Tell them your plan and why you're doing it. Put your promise on FaceBook. (or look at stickk.com)
  4. Positive Feedback –  Write down the benefits of your practice and repeat them to yourself regularly. Notice changes in how you feel. Ask others if they notice a difference.
  5. Reward –  Give yourself rewards for keeping up your practice. Breakfast out on a Sunday. A new yoga blanket. A trip to your favourite Art Gallery.

3. THE YOGA FIVE

  1. Proper Relaxation – lie in Savasana.
  2. Proper Breathing –  practive pranayama regularly. Breath from your belly through the nose during the day.
  3. Proper Exercise –  practice your asanas. (See Five Key Asanas below)
  4. Proper Diet – ideally vegetarian. Cut down/out meat, caffeine, alcohol, sugar. Eat more greens, pulses, nuts ...
  5. Positive Thinking & Meditation –  When a negative thought arrives, think of the positive. Maintain a daily meditation habit.

4. THE ASANA FIVE

  1. Invert –  Headstand, Shoulderstand, Handstand, Downward Dog
  2. Forward Bend –  Seated, Standing, Head-to-Knee, Plough
  3. Backward Bend –  Cobra, Locust, Boat, Bow, Fish, Camel, Wheel
  4. Twist –  Lying down, Seated, Standing
  5. Side Stretch  –  Triangle, Extended Side Stretch, Seated, Standing
  6. Always relax and warm-up first (ideally Sun Salutations). Always relax afterwards.

You can find out more about the 12 key asanas in the classic Sivananda class here.

5. THE HAPPINESS FIVE

  1. Connect –  with friends, family and others. With meaning.
  2. Be Active –  see above! And run, bike, swim, play ....try something new.
  3. Notice –  be mindful of your senses and surroundings.
  4. Learn –  never stop learning. From little things to bigger plans.
  5. Give –  serve others, serve the world, serve yourself.

I originally prepared this for my Self-Practice Workshop. If you have your own list of 5 positive things to share, please do!

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