the daily minimum, at home
Tuesday I shared a basic ten (ok, fifteen) minute class to practice at home. Today we have a slightly more vigorous ashtanga-based option. We’ll call it “the daily minimum +.”
If you are just beginning to practice at home, make sure to the same things you’d do in a class. Turn off your phone. Take a minute to ground into your body, using some pranayama or mantra. Commit to spending the next 10 minutes (or hour, or two) on your yoga. If you don’t think you have the discipline to do this, you can pay me a handsome fee to come teach you some. (Now that thought will get you right on the mat.)
This sequence takes about 25 minutes, unless you want to dally. If you have less time, simply do the sun salutations, shoulder- and/or headstand, and savanasana.
- Start in Tadasana or Samasthiti. Take a few breaths here, grounding down into the feet.
- Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutation): 3-5 times
- Surya Namaskara B: 3-5 times
- Standing pose of choice for 8 breaths.
If you are new to home practice, choose something you enjoy. Otherwise, choose one that challenges you. If you think your balance is bad, definitely choose a balancing pose and hold it up to two minutes.
- Forward bend of choice. Hold 8 breathes to 5 minutes.
As above. Or, if you are tired, do something you love. If you have energy, something that challenges you. Be honest.
- Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulderstand) or the shoulderstand sequence, 25 breaths each.
- Sirsasana (Headstand) or Dolphin. 25 breaths.
- Balasana. 2 minutes (or as long as you please).
- For ashtangis, the closing sequence. Or supine spinal twist, then happy baby (for 5 breaths to as long as you’d like).
- Savasana!, 5 minutes. 2 is the bare minimum.
Some good suggestions for abbreviated ashtanga practices can be found at the top of this FAQ.
I especially appreciate these lines at the end,
“While it is important to be sensitive to the needs of the body and mind, it is also important to look critically at these needs. Frequently, these needs are actually subtle avoidance mechanisms. If you are sore, tired, or don’t feel like practicing. Acknowledge those feelings and sensations, drop the expectations about what practice should be like and practice anyway.” Yup.
Savasana the movie (above) is short (1 minute) and pretty funny. Watch!