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30 days of Yoga with hipS-sister - DAY 9

DAY 9. (read to the end for your challenge today)

Self-Practice

The main type of yoga taught in the West is Hatha yoga. Within the discipline of Hatha yoga there are several teaching styles that have been pioneered by individuals. We will list a few here and invite you to research these further if you are interested in learning more about their different nuances: (we've included a few links in this post)
Iyengar yoga
Astanga vinyasa yofa
Dynamic yoga
Jivamukti yoga
Bikram’s yoga
Viniyoga
Sivananda yoga
Bihar yoga

As we’ve mentioned in an earlier blog, students who are new to yoga can benefit greatly from attending classes where a teacher is on hand to provide instruction, support, encouragement and inspiration, and to demonstrate the subtler points of asana practice, such as using muscular locks and breathing techniques.

Although you will learn a great deal from a teacher when starting out, the next step – independent posture practice at home – is where you will experience most of yoga’s benefits. This is because, ultimately, yoga is a process of self-realization and you are the best expert on yourself.

We’ve put together some guidelines on how to being this journey of self-practice 
self practice
There are two main obstacles to self-practice. The first is discipline and the second is confidence. Try to cultivate the confidence to practice yoga on your own. You do not have to, nor should you, start off with a difficult pose such as a headstand. Instead, begin with something quiet and straightforward, such as resting in child pose. You should always aim to progress gradually.

Practice in a warm, quiet and clear space. A mirror leaned against a wall can be helpful to check occasionally that your body is correctly aligned. That said, avoid practicing habitually in front or a mirror – this encourages you to focus on your external appearance rather than how you feel, which is much more important.

A total beginner will benefit from a 15 minute practice, three to five times a week, increasing to 45 minutes after a few months. Eventually, you could aim to build up to an hour or more daily with one rest day a week. Remember though, that yoga should be life enhancing and enjoyable. Try to tailor your self-practice sessions to your needs. If your lifestyle is hectic, tiring or changeable, simply do what you can. For example, you can always use meditation techniques instead of posture practice when you are physically exhausted. A little yoga, practiced often, is far better for you than no yoga at all, or even yoga practiced when you would rather be doing something else.

Here is are two article that talk about some of the different styles of yoga:
http://www.matsmatsmats.com/yoga/yoga-disciplines.html
http://life.gaiam.com/article/beginners-guide-8-major-styles-yoga

Day 9 challenge:
As we get very close to learning our first hatha yoga posture, we need to decide the best time for us to take those few minutes to ourselves every day. Can you make the commitment TODAY that you will take time for yourself on this journey? If so, what time of day do you think will work best for you? Share your comments with us.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.

Tomorrow, we have a look at overcoming problems.

Namaste

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