My Daily Practice

My home practice has certainly evolved over the years, much of my strength and flexibility has been cultivated at home-by returning to the mat as regularly as I can. Initially it consisted of short 20 or 30 minute sessions, nowadays it's in the region of 2-3 hours daily. My flexibility has not been a walk in the park and still something I work on tirelessly as Im not naturally flexible. Same goes for strength. They have both evolved gradually over time and I find my body able for things now which I never thought possible-which has taught me never to assume my limitations, if you're truly dedicated, anything is possible.

So here is what I get up to on my mat at home. First off I'll start with a very strong vinyasa sequence-combined with interval or HIIT training. This will generally be for about an hour, mainly focus on increasing heart rate, increasing stamina and building strength. Then I will focus on whatever it is I'm working on at the moment (eg headstand pikes), I'll generally just repeat the exercise or pose continuously until I get tired, then I will rest and return to it. Sometimes I combine these things with other conditioning exercises depending on whatever it is I'm working on. Once I'm done with all the high energy stuff I do some yin for about an hour. I focus on hamstrings, hips, calves, shoulders and spine-holding each pose for 3-4 minutes. My vinyasa sequence is constantly changing but my yin is pretty much exactly the same everyday: forward fold, wide legged forward fold, frog pose, half happy baby, hip flexor stretch, hamstring stretch, splits, pigeon, lizard, shoulder openers, back bending (usually on a yoga wheel), seated forward folds and lotus. All of the physical practice will lead up to a meditation at the end, either guided or just on my own, allowing the practice to sink in.

It seems like a lot, but it is what grounds me and keeps me sane so for that reward for me it's a small price to pay! Obviously it's not possible to achieve this everyday, but if I can manage 5 times a week I'm happy. When life gets busy, I cut it down and focus on different sections daily, it's always possible to accommodate something quick in whatever time is available. I go to classes as much as I can, learning from other teachers is so important to my practice, we never stop learning.

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