Practice makes perfect

Top tips for keeping your yoga and meditation practice strong through the summer months.

Summer is often the time when many of us drop our yoga and meditation practice.  Follow Jane Clapham’s tips to make your practice work, even through the holidays.

So many of my students on the meditation training course tell me that holidays can be the worst time for maintaining a regular routine.  Perhaps the children are on holiday from school, or you might go away.  You might have extra guests around or just find the British weather disappointing.

 

Whatever your excuse, a change in routine doesn’t have to mean the end of your yoga ‘me-time’.

1.       Get real.

I find that many people have unrealistic expectations of the length of time they can devote to their daily yoga or meditation. Then, when they don’t manage a 90 minute session daily, they think they’ve failed.  So be realistic.  Plan to do a 10 minute practice – warm ups, a swift EBR and one posture, for example, could be a minimum practice.

2.       Have a mobile practice

Going out to the beach? Then take a few minutes of me-time – with your family – and do some stretches or postures.  If you’re going for a walk, you could practise a walking meditation or chant a mantra quietly.  Don’t limit yourself to your yoga mat or meditation shawl and bell and you’ll find it easier to adapt it to your environment.

3.       Involve your family

As yogiyou teachers know well, kids adore yoga!  So if you have children, involve them in your yoga practice.  Very small children will love the animal postures (cat, dog, cobra etc), older ones love competition (how long can you stand on one leg in the tree posture?), while for teenagers, tips to tackle stress might go down well.

We’re doing the next yogiyou training this September if you’re interested in teaching yoga to children!

4.       Use your senses

On holiday, you might simply forget about your yoga because you’re in a different environment.  So use your senses to get you back on track.  Take your phone or ipod with your yoga music on, and play it!  Or take a couple of sticks of your favorite incense or essential oil which you associate with your yoga ‘smell’.  Our senses are evocative so use them to remind you how great you feel when you practice.

5.       Use different media

Many people find holiday time a good way to ring the changes – to watch Dru Yoga DVDs or downloads from the training courses in Wales.  You might prefer to catch up with lessons from the Dru Yoga Online Studio.  If you’re into meditation, you can download meditation recordings and instructions with the online meditation course – and listen to them while relaxing on the beach!

6.       Read around the subject

Summer can be a great time to catch up on yoga related reading (which can in turn inspire you to actually do some!).  Essential yoga reading which I always recommend my students get from our Dru mail order include The Dru Bhagavad Gita series, Krishna Das – Chants of a Lifetime, Victor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning, and any of Swami Rama’s books.

7.       Be kind to yourself

Lastly, don’t give yourself a hard time if your personal practice has a summer (or winter) break.  Everyone needs a holiday from time to time.  So, without judging yourself, make today the time to restart your practice – with fresh determination and an unbeatable attitude!

Jane Saraswati Clapham

Dru Yoga Retreats Office
Snowdonia Mountain Lodge
Nant Ffrancon
Bethesda
Bangor
North Wales
LL57 3LX

01248 602900

For information on Dru Yoga retreats, walking holidays, meditation and sound courses, visit http://www.druworldwide.com/

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