5 Lists Of Five To Improve Your Personal Yoga Practice.
1. THE DAILY MEDITATION FIVE
- The Right Place – Ideally facing East or North. Clean. Quiet. Not the bedroom (it's a sleepy place and you need to feel awake!)
- The Right Things – Set up your mat, candle, incense, cushion and blanket the night before.
- The Right Time – Before the rest of the house wakes up. Early as possible. Before breakfast. (or later in the evening ... )
- 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.
- The Right Intention – Before and after your practice say something inspiring to yourself. Remind yourself why you're doing it.
2. THE HABIT FIVE
- Plan – Write it down. What you plan to do and why for the next month.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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
- Proper Relaxation – lie in Savasana.
- Proper Breathing – practive pranayama regularly. Breath from your belly through the nose during the day.
- Proper Exercise – practice your asanas. (See Five Key Asanas below)
- Proper Diet – ideally vegetarian. Cut down/out meat, caffeine, alcohol, sugar. Eat more greens, pulses, nuts ...
- Positive Thinking & Meditation – When a negative thought arrives, think of the positive. Maintain a daily meditation habit.
4. THE ASANA FIVE
- Invert – Headstand, Shoulderstand, Handstand, Downward Dog
- Forward Bend – Seated, Standing, Head-to-Knee, Plough
- Backward Bend – Cobra, Locust, Boat, Bow, Fish, Camel, Wheel
- Twist – Lying down, Seated, Standing
- Side Stretch – Triangle, Extended Side Stretch, Seated, Standing
- 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
- Connect – with friends, family and others. With meaning.
- Be Active – see above! And run, bike, swim, play ....try something new.
- Notice – be mindful of your senses and surroundings.
- Learn – never stop learning. From little things to bigger plans.
- 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!