Before

You need about 2 square meters of floor and a situation where your body is not freezing and you feel free to move. Everything else (candles, flowers, silence ect.) is extra.  Turn off your phone turnedand let your surroundings that you will be off for a while.

Trick number one is to have no expectations as to what the practice should feel like or what result it should produce. Come to your mat wanting to give something to your body but have little or no agenda for what it should be. Your body will tell you what to do and take the nourishment it needs if you provide the space. Trick number two is to repeat the experience. Every time you practice on your own without a teacher guiding you, you empower a space within yourself that can and will support you through life´s up´s and downs.

How long?

Basically there are no rules for how long to practice. So if your life happens to give you only 10 minutes at a time then try it out. My general experience as a teacher is that it works better to practice for a short time and do it often than to set goals of practicing for 1,5 hours and then find that you only do it once a week or month. You really can get a lot out of 15-25 minutes of yoga on a regular basis. A 7-minute meditation or a 15-minute relaxation on its own is also a great help during busy day.

In what order?

The most common way to sequence a yoga practice is to begin with some kind of internalization or centering. If could be resting in child’s pose, on your belly, on your back or sitting in meditation. Inviting your body to relax for a few minutes before you begin to move. Anything that invites your awareness to be taken by internal sensation is great.

The more active part of the practice can come in many forms. As you´ve just received about 20 hours of teaching in a week your body has lots of muscular memory at hand to guide your practice. Once you have settled in on your mat my advice is to begin from a posture or a movement you can remember and… go! Don´t think too much about what to do next. Whenever you seem to have forgotten something you just return to something you know or remember from previous experience and explore from there. I recommend softly moving the whole of the body for 7-20 minutes before coming into more intense or challenging techniques that works more specifically on one area of the body. If you only have 20 minutes,  stay with something that gently activates the whole body and feels comfortable, no intense “stretching” before your body is warmed up. Once you feel open to going into actual postures, try alternating between movement and stillness: If you have been in an active static posture, make sure the next thing you do gives your body some soft movement to release any tension that could have been built up during stillness.

A classical sequence of yoga postures ends in savasana (the final resting pose). There are many variations, the most common one is resting on your back. My own experience is that 15 minutes of relaxation is minimum for the nervous system to settle and digest whatever the body worked through during the active posture practice. If you had a very short practice like 10-20 minutes doing postures you can probably do with 10 minutes of relaxation. If you practiced longer then add minimum 5 minutes of savasana for every 30 minutes of active posture practice. If you only have 10 minutes in total, do 10 minutes of relaxation. It´s worth the time!

After

Drink lots of water. Be sweet with yourself.