how-to make the yoga

whether you're teaching others or just creating a sequence for your self-practice, an hour of yoga poses can seem intimidating, overwhelming and even stressful, when you are left to your own devices (read: there is no one out there telling you what to do).  here are a few tips to keep you moving and grooving to your own asana:

  1. choose your own adventure - focus on a part of the body where you may be feeling a little crunchy, cranky and/or stiff.  then sprinkle poses throughout your flow that tap into this area (repeating poses is not only a-ok, but encouraged!).
  2. how do you eat an elephant?  one bite at a time.  - (disclaimer:  the previous statement is just a metaphor and not meant to encourage the eating of elephants - eating elephants is no bueno!)  in other words, think of your practice in parts:  the warmup, sun salutations, standing poses, balancing poses, inversions, grounded poses, relaxation.  if you can get through all of those in 60-90 minutes, you'll be in great shape (literally and figuratively).
  3. once you understand the rules, you can break them - after you have figured out what poses and specific alignment tweaks work best for you, venture out (safely of course) trying your own pose-remakes, fun transitions between poses and always remain playful (if your body is at ease -not tense- you are less likely to get hurt).
  4. when in doubt, breathe - simple as that, if at any point you get lost in your sequence or don't know what pose should come next, take a meditative seat and come back to your breath, which afterall is the most important part of your yoga.

(this post's title is inspired by tara stiles' signature pre-class tweet "time to make the yoga.")