How to Develop Your Home Practice

As teachers we try to encourage our students to develop a home practice, and if you’re new to practising yoga at home, we hope these tips from Senior Iyengar yoga teacher Brenda Booth will help. 

Brenda says it’s a good idea to start with just 10 minutes a day; that way you can get into the habit in a realistic way.  It’s best if you’ve already been to a class with a qualified Iyengar yoga teacher, so that you know the correct way to do the poses.

Are you a night owl or an early bird? Once you’ve decided which, make an appointment with yourself for either morning or evening practice, and stick to it – just as you would an important meeting.

There’s no need to be too rigid, and you can allow yourself a day off! B.K.S. Iyengar himself took one day off a week, to spend with family.

Brenda suggests five base standing poses to start off with. They are the groundwork for all the other asanas, and everything grows from them:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

These can be followed by a seated pose, for example Virasana (Hero Pose), which is a very important pose for supporting a good blood supply to the legs.

Then finally, go up into Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), and finish off with Savasana (Corpse Pose).

Once you’ve been practising every day for a week or a month, you’ll have got into the discipline and you can start to develop and explore the poses further.  And if you want to include poses you’ve learnt in class, try to work with what your body remembers, rather than what your brain remembers.

Taken from notes from Brenda’s session at the IY(UK) Convention in 2018. Brenda is currently teaching here

Teacher using a door to support her leg and arm in a yoga pose