Practicing yoga daily in a personal practice is a great way to develop serenity. To start, think about your day and where it would fit in. Think about constraints – family, work, schedule, etc. Additionally, for those of you in prison, consider constraints of the environment including rules about where and when these practices can be pursued.
A full individual practice can be as simple as four or five asanas (practiced with repetitions) followed by a twenty minute meditation. Do this twice a day and follow yama and niyama and you are fully on the yogic path.
How to choose the asanas? Start with two asanas from the beginning of our group class such as yoga mudra and cobra. Do each eight repetitions with the breathing as we do in class. Add shoulderstand for three minutes and fish for a minute and a half. Now do the self massage or not – your choice. Then sit in meditation for twenty minutes, or if you are just starting, five or ten minutes.
As an alternative, you could use the three sun salutations we start class with as your asana portion and then follow this with the optional self massage and meditation.
It is much easier to start with something very short that you will do every day and then add an asana or two that you want to work on. Don’t start with a 90 minute routine that you will do the first two days and then give up.
Make a note card with your routine asana names to help you get through the routine until it is memorized. Use your yoga class and teacher as a resource to get the routine started and fill in any gaps or questions.
Personal Practice Outline
For my personal practice I will start with these asanas:
I will/will not do shoulderstand and fish.
I will/will not do the self massage.
I will sit in meditation for …… minutes.