I’m so glad to see more encouragement for yogis to develop their own home practice. For a long time it seemed to me that yoga teachers and publications didn’t encourage people to create a home practice.
But now Yoga Journal regularly publishes special issues with home practice routines for different moods and maladies.
Personally, I like a mix of home practice and group classes. Instructor led classes introduce new inspiration, a little more intensity and sometimes fun poses or routines that I’ve never even seen before.
On the other hand, it’s usually during my home practice that I will get the best insights about my own life. I’ll have an insight about an issue I’ve been mulling over. Or I’ll get the clarity to attend to one or two crucial tasks that might otherwise get forgotten in the busyness of daily life.
My own home practice has been influenced quite a lot by the ideas of Erich Schiffmann, author of “Yoga – The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness.” In his book, he points out the importance of listening within and really paying attention to what your body is telling you.
He used to conduct some of his classes as free style classes, where, instead of leading everyone in the same asana sequence, everyone would just do whatever poses they were inspired to do.
The very aim of yoga is to increase one’s sense of self-awareness and being awake and attuned to our current needs rather than bound by rigid habits or mental ideas.
If you have never read Erich’s book, I strongly recommend it. He very effectively expresses the spirit and practice of yoga. You’re sure to come away inspired to practice!