Updated: May 20, 2020
THE 6-WEEK CHALLENGE
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
When I first decided to get serious about my yoga and develop a self-practice, I struggled. I would set my alarm for 6 am with good intentions of springing out bed and onto my mat. However, my intention to practice was seriously overridden by the desire to press the snooze button — just one more time!
I would drag myself out of bed, unroll my mat and take myself through a very stiff and unfocused practice. For the first few weeks I felt very tired through the day — wasn’t this supposed to be making me feel better? I was literally dragging myself through practice and it became a bit of a chore instead of something I enjoyed.
So, I decided to start all over again and build my practice over a 6-week period. I made up my mind up that, by hook or by crook, I was going to get through this period. The Ashtanga series takes around 1.5 hours so I built my practice in small manageable stages. Week by week I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier… and didn’t allow myself to use the snooze button!
I used a David Swenson video to guide me through the practice and was very disciplined in not going over the time that I had allotted to the practice. There is a very good video by Ashtangi Mark Darby on YouTube that you can use to guide you through the practice. The video also gives some excellent modifications for postures that might be too difficult. When moving onto a new set of postures leave the vinyasas out of that section until the following week.
This approach will also help you to remember the sequence as you are gradually building strength and flexibility.
Early morning is considered the best time for practice, but if you are not a morning person then schedule it for some other time in the day. You may decide to practise over the weekend but you should take one day off per week. Also, traditionally you do not practise on moon days which gives you an extra two days off a month.
Use the practice sheets when you are ready to progress from the video and commit the sequence to memory.
- Lay your mat out before going to bed.
– Have your yoga attire ready at the end of the bed.
– Rinse your face with cold water.
I hope that this proves helpful for you to take the next step on your Yoga journey.