Sukhasana (easy pose) :Photo by Sivashakti Yoga,Bangalore
Yoga practice is many times, seen as a sequence of hard poses (asanas) with sweating and generating heat in the body. This practice becomes just another way of punishing your body and mind, creating stress and worries which in turn disturbs the biological rhythm and the human systems. The practice that is meant to provide health and peace of mind changes into a contraindication.
Yoga practice has to be fun, allowing you to feel the connection of the body, mind and soul; on the peripheral level giving you a toned and healthy feeling. Yoga gives more benefits when practised with an open mind rather than for a narrow goal of, say, losing weight. When there is less expectation from the practice the outcome is fulfilling.
If you want to build a regular home practice the key is to split-up your yoga practice into short sessions of 15-20 minutes yoga routines. So in the morning, on en empty stomach you could do a few rounds of sun salutation (soorya namaskar) or few poses and pranayama (breathing exercise). Voilà – you are energetic enough to rush off and start your daily chores. You could practice meditation and a deep relaxation in the evening, after work or just before sleep, as long as you are not full-stomached. A peaceful sleep is sure to follow. The traditional practitioners insist on following the same sequence mentioned in their particular style of Yoga, but for a layman that would be a wishful thinking. You can practically spare only very little time for your yoga home-practice, while thoughts are scattered in numerous struggles of life. Balancing practice with other commitments in life is a conscientious effort for many yoga students; if not successful the practice slumbers away.
If you look into the classical yoga texts, there is no mention of the need to master hundreds of yoga poses. The emphasis is on focussing on the breath, holding the pose longer, observing the subtle changes in your body and mind etc., as you are in one pose. Infact, practising just one pose into perfection will lead you to the ultimate goal of Yoga, that is, the realisation of your inner self. You can experience that a seemingly difficult pose becomes easier with practise and your mind becomes peaceful. You learn the yogic values also such as truthfulness, non-violence, self-control, withdrawal of senses etc while holding a pose. Less is more. Be at ease with your short practise sessions and gain great results for yourself!