Yoga Class vs. Home Practice
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Yoga class vs. Home practice
By Sonia Dezius
I think one of the purposes of teaching yoga, is to actually teach myself out of a job! Funny as that sounds, it's true.
Yoga as a practice, as a system of healing, as an actual 'blueprint' for living , is all about YOU finding out that under all the chaos and beauty of life, is YOU, still there in all your radiance!
But how, you may ask, do we realise this with yoga?
For the scope of this little essay, I'd like you to consider what you get from attending a yoga class and what you get from a home practice.
A yoga class helps us to see that whether you're a beginner or advanced student, there is a commonality, the shared experience of our humanity. We may look different on the outside, our form, flexibility, structure is completely individual in expression however, underneath we are all working with the same stuff, the same primordial awareness, subtle energy, prana. It is this unseen world that we feel when we lie down and relax at the end of a yoga class, and when we leave with that shared experience of simply feeling better.
In part, this is because of the magic of sangha - your spiritual community. This is not some higher place to seek, as Adyashanti puts it, "we are birthed into Sangha, sacred community. It is called the world".
An important key to being able to fully relax into the experience of a yoga class is repetition. When you commit to a regular class, you meet, greet and welcome all parts of yourself, within community, and it might be at that first class or the hundredth, but you will get carried away on a wave of shared intent.
This is powerful. It's not poetry. It's real and can be life-enhancing.
HUH! Did I just talk myself back INTO a job?!
Well... in the same breath, is the journey of a developing and committing to a home practice?
Firstly, it doesn't have to be 90 minutes, it can be short, sweet and simple. And it can change... in fact in must change, as life does. As we age, as our children grow, as our work and careers evolve.
But again to fully relax into a home practice, the key is repetition. In setting yourself a daily practice that is realistic in time, clear in purpose, there-in lies the potential for mastery.
At the moment, my personal practice spends a lot of time on the floor. I sit, I count my breaths (at the moment I breath in and out for the count of 42, my age! simple maths). I plug myself (y)in with some hip-openers like pigeon or gomukhasana. Followed by a twist or two. Then I get my spine moving, following the breath, cat, cow, dog, cat, breath in, breath out. Then... who knows, I wait and see. Or I get the kids off to school, make tea, take the dog for a walk, whatever it is, I am ready.
So where are you at?
Start here: one pose you like, and breathe. One pose you don't like, and breathe.
I love inspiring quotes. Here is one from Abbie Galvin
"A Self-knowing eventually comes ones safe haven. A home practice developed over time is like a softening of fabric, which only happens through use, fostering fluency, resiliency and ease..."
So I believe it's not either/or, one is better than the other. There is enormous benefit to be gained from both attending a class and rolling out the mat at home. At a recent rhythm-body workshop, the facilitator put what I am trying to say in such great way, we have a pulse, its the same for us all, and we have a rhythm, and there are 7 billion rhythms on Earth. Find your rhythm. Find your yoga.
Thank you for reading.