Self-Practice Journal / Yoga Poses

45-Minute Self Practice

A few years ago, I posted an example of a 45-minute yoga practice that people can do at home. A shorter practice like this can be especially useful during the holiday season, when you’re traveling or just don’t seem to have the time to get to your local yoga studio.

Today, I’m going to post something similar, but this 45-minute sequence is not a step-by-step list of postures. Instead, I offer a general framework that can be tailored to individual needs. I’ve been using this approach in my own self practice, and I find it highly conducive to actually getting off my butt and practicing some yoga at home. A consistent (and strong) home practice is perhaps the final frontier for many yogis. I’m certainly not there yet, but I’m finding that by setting modest goals, I can at least have a home practice, which is a step in the right direction.

So here’s my current 45-minute yoga practice that I do at home:

  1. Warm Up
  2. Standing Poses
  3. Core & Floor

That’s pretty much it! I set the timer on my iPhone for 15 minutes, so it goes off a total of three times. The first time it goes off, it tells me the warm up is over. The second alarm tells me it’s time to wrap up the standing poses. And the third alarm wakes me up from a brief Savanasa.

Personally, I find that it’s a lot easier to practice at home if I break it up into three 15-minute segments like this. It’s a peculiar thing, but when I take a class at a studio, I almost never look at the clock or wonder how much time is left. I just let myself get washed away in the flow of the class. But when I practice on my own, I become hyper-aware of the passage of time. It’s a struggle, and sometimes just the anticipation of that struggle prevents me from getting on the mat at all. The best way for me to deal with this, I’ve found, is to break up my home practice into little bite-sized pieces, so to speak.

So that my 45-minute practice session doesn’t seem too vague, here’s a more fleshed out example. This is actually what I did yesterday (click on text links to see photos and explanations of poses on Yoga Journal’s website):

  1. Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
  2. Cat & Cow Spine Warm Up
  3. 5 Surya Namaskara A‘s
  4. 5 Surya Namaskara B‘s (timer went off at the end of this)
  5. Dancing Warrior Flow Sequence: Warrior I, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior
  6. Standing Sequence with Triangle, Extended Side Angle Pose, Half Moon Pose, Revolved Half Moon, and Revolved Triangle (timer went off)
  7. Navasana (boat pose)
  8. Forearm Plank for 1 minute with Kapalabhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire)
  9. Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend)
  10. Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated spinal twist)
  11. Seated Meditation instead of Savasana (timer went off)

I tend to take long, deep breaths in each pose, sometimes holding postures for five breaths or more. Also, I sometimes add in a random Vinyasa or Handstand, just for fun. That’s one of the nice things about practicing on your own — you can do what you want, whenever you want 🙂


3 thoughts on “45-Minute Self Practice

  1. i’ve discovered yogavibes and other yoga online classes (there are some awesome ones on youtube, like bryan kest) and i’ve based on home practice on those classes! home practice is great, now that i have to work again. happy new year!

  2. Pingback: Experimentation and Pranayam: what do you do with “prohibitions”? | Badlands Yoga

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