Reigniting the Mini Practice

The starting position is your home base and you are setting out to see how far you can travel from home. … You’re following your impulses, letting your mind and body provide you with the answers. – Twyla Tharpe, The Creative Habit

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We have all heard the old adage “big things come in small packages” (says the 5’2″ girl). Yet when we approach yoga, we don’t always see the big gains in the small actions at first. Many of us begin by taking 90-minute-long classes. It is only when the practice gets more subtle, when we take time to integrate it into our daily lives, that less becomes more. The physical practice has the capacity to shrink and simultaneously grow in strength to make room for the other benefits of yoga.

Not to sound like a broken record but…I have a broken leg. Throughout the healing process, I have, bit by bit, come back to the physical asana practice. There is nothing like certain poses – be it downward facing dog or extended side angle – to allow the body the spaciousness to feel Breath in the joints. And, as a yoga teacher, one of my arts is that of sequencing. My body – in whatever state it is in in the present mOMent – is my muse. I wholeheartedly agree with Twyla Tharpe – limitations are our friends. Especially when it comes to creativity. My mini practices give me long-lasting fuel. They are a testament to the piece of advice that all yoga teachers – in my humble opinion – should give to beginners: it is not frequency or length, but consistency that matters. Why? We want our practice – our fuel for the rest of life – to be sustainable, achievable. As a yoga teacher friend of mine says, we want to set ourselves up to win.

Here are some steps you can take to cultivate a mini practice.

1. Find a space where you can spread out undisturbed.

2. Don’t plan.

3. Breathe.

4. Target a body part you would like to open.

5. Begin the practice like one would a freewrite: don’t pick up the pen, let each word flow into the other; let each pose lead beautifully, unexpectedly, into the next.

Namaste.

Want more mini practices from yours truly? Check out the Yoga U E-Book!

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