7 tips for daily practice
7 tips to support your yoga practice in a world that is constantly changing. By Mellara Gold
The most valuable relationship we can have is the one that we have with ourselves. In cultivating time to be with ourselves, we honour who we really are.
As we practice more consistently, we become more sensitive and intimate with ourselves; love for our Self with acceptance becomes us.
By cultivating the time and space to be with ourselves we experience a deeper relationship with Self and all those in our lives. This is because we are mirroring the love and respect for ourselves and can’t help but to naturally share it with those around us.
Having a practice where we start in connection, rather with than the stresses of the world, will bring in more patience, calm, clarity and set the tone for a new day. Every day is a new beginning!
To be conscious is to be empowered — which is ultimately love.
You don’t have to be ‘ready’ to begin practicing on a regular basis, you just need to start with one day, and move to the next. Starting your day with stillness and some gentle movement will create an infused energy that will stay with you throughout your whole day.
Sometimes, hours after practicing, a feeling of clarity and freshness envelops me and I begin to realise that this small amount of time in the morning generated this profound feeling of healing.
Transform your energy
Where our attention goes, our energy flows.
Sometimes without even knowing it we can be addicted to stress even in a moment of joy. To break free from the stress, we need to transform the energy into something different. Energy can’t be broken, only transformed.
Living in survival mode all of the time can move us into dis-ease. Birthing an ongoing practice allows our true self to be seen, heard and felt. As we give birth and come back to our true Self we see the world from this prospective.
We begin to experience the world from the advantage point of grace, space and acceptance. Essentially, we live the change we would like to see in the world, rather than always reacting to it.
As we each put ourselves at the top of the list we, as a collective, begin to rise. The raising of our vibration becomes a way of life where taking quiet moments to just be becomes our new normal.
By having a practice we have the opportunity to bring light where there was darkness. And what you plant today will manifest itself and sprout into a life worth living.
Not a perfect life where we don’t fall down, or make mistakes, but a life where we move more purposefully, placing our mental, physical and energetic health first.
Everyone wins when we do this, especially our planet; the more conscious we are about our health, we tend to be that way on the outside too.
If possible, create a peaceful space in your home that you can keep returning to. This will create a physical power place that you can return to again and again, and especially when you feel imbalance. By returning to this same space everyday healing energy is built.
Here are 7 tips to support your daily practice:
1. Be in the moment, letting go of any expectations of what your practice should look like. This is simply a time of connection; a time to listen to your body while befriending any aches, pains or tightness.
2. Remain open to change as you listen to your body. You may roll out of bed and lay on your mat for the whole time and that might be exactly the medicine that is needed. Laying down to connect with your breath will nourish the nervous system, and even though you were just sleeping, connecting to your breath while laying down is different to sleep. Consider this time like a conscious re-boot for your inner wellbeing, aligning to the medicine that your body is asking for.
3. Beverage, or not to beverage…that is a good question! For me, I usually get out of bed, go to the bathroom, have a glass of warm water, make a coffee and sit with it at my mat. The coffee making and the sipping of it is part of the practice; a ritual that is cherished for the rest of the day. As I take a seat on my mat, I hold gently my heart in one hand and, with the other, feel the warmth of my cup. Opening in gratitude for the many hands that have made it possible for me to be in this moment.
4. Set an intention. Have you ever wondered why setting an intention is so important and what it is all about? An intention is simply an idea that you plan to carry out, manifest or work towards.
A collecting of focused energy that turns your attention inside to your own awareness. It’s based in the present moment while having a gaze toward the future. Intentions hold dreams, hopes and, for many of us, things that we wish to happen (for our highest good) in the experience of life unfolding through us.
5. You don’t need to be a yoga expert to move and create a deep friendship with your body. Start by resting your hands on your mat, feeling the palms pressing firmly into the earth. Listen to your body as you will probably start to move it in an intuitive way. Most folks like the breath to be their object of focus, so go to one conscious breath in, and one conscious breath out as you ‘play’. Maybe a few cat and dog tilts, hip circles, and a down dog to start. The trick is to be open to where your body wants to go for its highest healing.
6. Keep things simple! Remember this is your time of connection with the deepest part of who you are. This is not a time for the workout of the century, this is time connecting with the most important relationship in your life — you.
7. Focus on being consistent with practicing rather than worrying about how much time to dedicate to it. When you commit to yourself you’re not practicing to improve yourself. You are already enough. The practice is there to help us remember that.
Mellara Gold E-RYT has practiced and taught meditation and yoga for 25 years, influenced by Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Buddhism. Her radiant and inspirational teaching blends the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga with self-inquiry. She leads online and in-person workshops, retreats, and trainings and is a regular contributor to online journals and other lifestyle and spiritual magazines.