Advance with your yoga practice at home

arm balance yogaThis is a requested part II of my post about how to practice yoga at home (see part I here).

I would like to share with you how I stayed on my yoga path and how I keep practicing in a way that motivates and challenges me.

As you know, I started my yoga practice at home. I started with the videos I found on YouTube. The channels I used right at the beginning were

Yoga Journal 

and Ekhard Yoga 

I remember doing a one hour class, and wondering if I would ever get strong and flexible enough to do some of the poses correctly…It took me about six months practicing just the basics and taking my time to get my body to accommodate to all those new movements I was teaching it. I have to say that those first months were the most challenging and de-motivating months for me. It is frustrating when you suddenly realize how inflexible or weak you are.

Those months also brought up another issue that I have been struggling with since I can remember myself – IMPATIENCE! I can get really angry and frustrated if something does not happen exactly when I want it to happen. And it was THEN that yoga has played a major role in shaping my character. I learned that things happen at their own pace and that by pushing something too hard you won’t get want you want and might injure yourself.

So I learned (and continue to learn) to be patient, to listen to my body, to trust and to simply go with the flow and enjoy the process. I would stick with a video until I feel I got this right. Once I notice I have learned the poses, the flow is easy, and I am no longer challenged by the moves, I know it’s time to move on!

Only then I upgrade to something more difficult and challenging. It was about that time that I found Ali on You Tube. I wish I found her earlier because she has some amazing videos for beginners.

So I started practicing with the following videos:

Intermediate Hatha Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga

Power Yoga

They were challenging! Until this point I never thought you could sweat so much during yoga. I have to say that Ali’s classes shaped my body, and made my core stronger than ever. You will notice the same thing if you practice with her on a regular basis.

Once I was comfortable with those videos I moved to the next level. And here I have to say that changing up things and doing different practices is really motivating and hooks you for good. Ali has so many videos, that you can hardly get bored on her channel, and I like changing things up.

I learned to do arm balances with Ali. I learned how to perform Chaturanga Dandasana correctly with her as well (I still haven’t perfected it).

I now practice every other day. Currently I like to change up my yoga practice with kettlebell and body weight exercises. And yes, Ali has some great videos for that too.

So here are the practices I am currently rotating:

Practice 1: this is a killer

I start with this warm up

Then I do a full body kettlebell exercise

And I finish with abs workout

Practice 2: Vinyasa Yoga with Focus on Arm Balances

Practice 3: Vinyasa Yoga with Focus on Balance and Backbends

Practice 4: Power Yoga with Focus on Hips and Core

Practice 5: Power Yoga with Focus on Upper Body and Abs

I have noticed that overall I have become stronger, more toned and more flexible. I am far from mastering all the poses, and some of them are still a big challenge, but this is now what makes me so happy. The feeling after I got my first arm balance right was simply amazing! I have always wanted to have stronger arms and to see that I can manage the entire weight of my body on my arms is really gratifying! 😉

How do you practice yoga and how do you advance in your yoga practice?

5 responses to “Advance with your yoga practice at home

  1. Thank you! Seems like everyone on tumblr I see jumps from the very beginner to advanced poses, with no mention of how to advance from one level to another.

  2. Hi,

    I am looking to further my yoga practice, not just the Asana. I have been practicing for approx 1 1/2 yr. Is there any good literature for a starting point that you recommend.

    • Hi Karen,

      I would recommend you the book “Light on Yoga” from B.K.S. Iyengar. You have there all poses explained and pictured, and it gives you some more insights about alignment and asana sequences. Namaste!

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