Costa Rica Yoga JournalMark Goldstein

Don’t Do Yoga With Me

Yoga at homeBy Mark Goldstein

Don’t do yoga with me.

Well, please do, I will love to have you join us! My point is to ask you to do some yoga on your own. Having your own yoga practice, away from class, is often the key to forming a lasting and progressive yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to practice with a group, along side others. As well, I love to teach and have a deck full of students.

Playa Yoga

However, practicing on your own can have a profound effect on your “in class” yoga practice. Then, you will not only be listening to your instructor, but you will also pick up a much more important skill by being able to listen to yourself, and by becoming more in tune with your own practice.

Yoga at homeIdeally, in a perfect world, we will all have a daily yoga practice. That being said, a yoga practice does not have to be a long drawn out thing. Your yoga practice can be as short as 5-10 minutes, and still be a huge help to you. Will this shorter practice grow? I hope so, but even if a short practice is really all you can ever commit to, then that is wonderful, perfect, just what the yoga doctor ordered.

A great way to establish a home practice is to design one with a yoga instructor who will tailor something to fit your level of practice and your time and schedule needs. The person who plans to practice for 15 minutes before heading out to work each morning will, of course, have a very different practice then someone who will practice for an hour before going to bed……mmmm that sounds nice, right? Having a daily, or almost daily, practice can and will change your life for the better.

We have a group who gathers each Monday and Thursday morning to practice here at the retreat. We all have busy lives, and we all do our best to make to class each time. It occurred to me that we had not focused on at home practice, so, we decided to add a specific flow sequence into our class. Along with revisiting this “flow” each class, we also gave ourselves the opportunity to bring it home after getting to know it better through practice, observation and a bit of correction on my part. We just began this in March, so I will let you know how it is going, or better yet, join us and see for yourselves!

As I mentioned, even practicing 5-10 minutes each day will do the trick, and you don’t need to commit to the full 60-90 minutes of yoga that we do in our classes. There are so many ways to find a place to practice “at home”.

Some are lucky enough to have an actual yoga space in their home, with candles, music and peace and quiet. That same lucky person might also have a few hours to them self each day.

Another person may be able to find time on their lunch break from work, and simply do some breath work with arm movements in the park or in a break room.

You do not have to set up the “perfect yoga setting” to practice. You might consider integrating your yoga into other exercise activities. I have begun to run at the beach a few mornings per week. I put on my headphones, with some very loud “un-yoga-like” music on, and at the end of my run I’ll finish up with a sweaty and sand covered vinyasa flow next to the surf just to mix things up.

However you end up doing it, you CAN do it, and it will make a difference. Beginners or long time practitioners, we all benefit from doing some yoga on our own. Look at it this way, like a dance class. Go to this dance class a couple of times a week, great. Learn the steps, get more intricate, refine, get feedback. That’s all important. But, remember to go out some nights dancing too, that’s important.

Most importantly,  every once in a while, find your own space, put on the right music, turn it up loud and just go for it. Sometimes you just need to do your yoga like no one is watching!

Please join us as we practice on our rainforest deck, our yoga and massage practice is named PranaVida Wellness, and we are here at our retreat in Manuel Antonio named Prana Rainforest Retreat. I teach private group and one on one classes, and you are free to join our already formed group. Please call or email for availability. Hoping you’re having a wonderful day.