Bringing the Practice Home: Developing a Personal Longevity Practice

1 Nov 2013

Nevine Michaan & Abbie Galvin

        When we take a yoga class, we are offered an opportunity to engage with others. Techniques are taught, shared, and practiced within the group. A well-organized, well-orchestrated general class encourages a collective spirit. It is as though we are all learning to play the same piece of music. The collaboration between the personal and the collective informs the group setting. Each individual student is asked to measure up, keep up, and be part of the communal effort.
             A home practice changes the orientation of skill building and awareness. In a home practice, the teacher within becomes the focus of attention. Techniques that were taught by others, learned with others are brought into the personal.
      The goal of a home practice is to use one’s techniques to support personal health and well being, within a ritualized use of personal time and space. One closes the door to the outside world, and the practice of the mind and the breathing  are attuned to an inner conversation.
           The postures, breathing techniques, concentration and orientation methods  are the tools of the practice. While all practice influences one’s physiology and psychology , a personal longevity practice addresses the vision and virtue of personal health , well being, and long  life.  
 
…a longevity practice holds a commitment to spend time alone, participating in a technical integration of mind, body and breath
…a longevity practice is ritualized, the same sequenced poses are defined, refined and redefined
…a longevity practice is set to a breath count. A count is established, , then marked by the inflow /outflow of the breath. As one develops facility with the pose, the breath  becomes more fluid, time becomes more malleable.
…a longevity practice strengthens one’s personal organization, setting goals, following through
…a longevity practice is designed to be evolutionary, maturing in time; deepening understanding and developing techniques.
 
 
3 longevity sequences.  Have some props! Sandbags, blocks, blankets….

1. A Substantiating Longevity Practice
Start by holding each pose for 25 breaths
Orient center of sphere
     
Pigeon pose

Double  pigeon

 

Cow pose

 
Cat/cow pranayama
 
Rounded plough

Forward bend

Hero pose
 Arms up in equilateral triangle, pumped breath 25 counts

Seed

Center

2. A Restorative Longevity Practice
Start with 25 counts each pose
Orient center of sphere

Rounded plough

Forward bend

Rounded plough

Forward bend

Hero pose

    Breathing practices in hero with arm variations

 
Block under upper back, fish variation in hero

Supine hero

Seed

Center

3. A Spherical longevity Practice
start with 50 counts in each pose

Orient center of sphere
Rounded plough

Forward bend

Buddha’s sleep

Flipped rabbit

Hero pose

Breath work

   

Fish from hero

Supine hero

Flipped wheels

Seed

Center

As the practice becomes more personal, more skillful,  more satisfying, adjust the space around the personal…
 make your environment smell good, look good, feel good

We encourage pranayama practices- come to classes and learn our techniques
 

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