While an asana practice itself is a good start, it is not enough to reap the full benefits that yoga has to offer. If you're interested in going deeper into your practice but don't have a routine below is a suggested one, based on the teachings of Sarah Powers'. I practice this routine, or a variation of it, as early in my day as possible to set the tone. On days when I have more time, I incorporate more yin postures and a longer period of meditation.
- Sit quietly for a few minutes and check in with your emotional self. Notice how you're feeling.
- Set the intention to vow to awaken for the benefit of all beings.
- Slowly move into butterfly pose and hold for 3-5 minutes while focusing your attention on the feel of the breath moving in and out of the lower abdominal region (the hara).
- Five rounds of alternate nostril breathing to calm and clear the mind before meditation. (Close off the right nostril and breathe through the left for five breaths. Each breath is long and slow. Change sides and take five breaths on the right. Then take five, slow deep breaths through both nostrils.)
- Sit and focus on the breath for a minimum of six minutes; bringing the mind back to the breath whenever it wanders away.
To learn a routine that is specific to your needs, contact me to schedule a private yoga assessment. I see clients in Durham and downtown Raleigh.