Feeling Like Briohny Smyth…Why I Love My Home Yoga Practice

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Yoga teacher training has given me ALOT.  In many ways I feel like a completely new person…that I absolutely love.  As a yogi, I always knew having a solid home practice was important.  Yoga is about listening to YOUR body and doing what feels good for you at a given moment or day.  If you are constantly in the studio taking classes created by other people how you can possible nourish your body with exactly what it needs?  That’s where home practice comes in.  It’s time on the yoga mat to do what feels good, challenge yourself and prepare yourself for those poses you hope to someday get into.

Even when I was practicing the most, and taking the most yoga classes I could never get into a home practice.  I’d plan to do it but then at the last moment feel foolish or doubt my abilities to practice alone and head to the studio.  Now, yoga teacher training inspires me to practice at home.  I can recite the Suns so when I teach them I know every breath and movement by heart.  I can try new sequences and flows to use when I teach.  I learn so much.  After any given home practice I have about 10 things to look up; like Sanskrit pose names, breath work or the order of a certain flow, or new abs to try next time.  Most importantly, it gives me time to connect with myself.  I tune in to what’s going inside of me, my thoughts, feelings and emotions and just let them flow freely.

When I tell people I love my home practice, they often tell me they don’t like it because they don’t sweat.  To me, that’s just an excuse and an opportunity to learn how to sweat.  Every time I practice at home I break a sweat.  I fill my practice with vigorous Sun A’s, B’s and C’s to get my heart pumping and my body warm.  I’m in control and determine how hard I work.  I use abs, shoulder and butt work to make sure I feel a burn and get a good workout in too.  Today, I wanted to feel open in wheel.  So I spent time building my backbend from cobra up.  By the time I took my wheel my back was open and it felt amazing, so much deeper. Home practice, is all about what you make it.

I love waking up before the sunrise, making my way to the darkness of our living room, rolling out my mat and turning on my music.  The world is still sleeping and I’m flowing, listening to my body and lost in the music.  The quietness of the world (and the fear of waking up Michael) makes me move more gracefully and deliberately.  As the sunrises and the daylight begins to settle around me, I feel inspired.  And with no one around but me to compare myself to I can’t help but imagine I look like her…

I truly have fallen in love with my home practice and know that in many ways it makes me a better yogi.

Tell me, do you have a home practice?  Do you prefer the studio or your home?

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5 responses »

  1. I love my home practice! I graduated from YTT in March and in my class of 30 I was only one of a few who had a home practice and I was puzzled by it. Many people said what you said as to the reason why they did not have a home practice. My lack of funds was the reason for my home practice, (I call that a mixed blessing). YTT helped me learn how to sequence my practices better. I have enjoyed reading your blog and you are going to be a great Yoga instructor.

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  2. I just love watching that video! She is amazing! I’m also new to yoga and need the community and guidance of an instructor, but you have inspired me to give it a go at home. I would like to put a playlist together, do you have any song recommendations?

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  3. So beautiful Whitney. I have not yet begun a home practice with asana but do practice the other limbs of yoga throughout my day at home. I am so new to yoga and my mind body connection that for now I need the support of community and my teachers. Such grace and beauty and poetic expression of a home practice. You inspire me.

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