Thoughts from Cath

Home Practice Tip #5: Know your Starting Point and Your Goal

Catherine Kelleher

15th November 2018

Home Practice Tip #5: Know your Starting Poing and Your Goal

When I ask people whether they practice at home, an issue that they raise is 'what do I put in my practice?', 'what should I do when I get on my mat?' or 'I try to do the stuff we do in class but I can't remember it once I start'.

A good place to start might be to consider your goals. What is it you would like from a Yoga Practice? Here are some examples -
 - A physical benefit, perhaps to reduce stiffness in your body or work towards a particular posture that you would like to achieve
 - An energetic goal such as lifting your energy after a long day at work and before enjoying your evening
 - A mental goal, perhaps to bring you into a focused state of mind before engaging in your working day

It is also a good idea to consider your starting point. For example -
 - Are you starting from a place of feeling energised and with 'fuel in the tank' to bring to a practice?
 - Are you tired, feeling depleted or with low energy as a starting point?
 - Do you have physical, mental or emotional pain that needs to be respected within a practice?

The starting point and the goal are unique to each person. We are complex individuals each with our own needs.

When you know your goal and the place you are starting from it is possible to plan out the steps - and therefore, the content - of your home practice.

So, what are your goals and where are you starting from today? If you are still unsure about the content of your practice seek out a teacher that can support you in the steps required to meet your goal. The 'vini-yoga' approach to Yoga has an excellent framework for working within this context. The following is a quote from my teacher's teacher -

“We start our practice where we are and look toward a certain goal.
Then we choose the steps that will lead us toward realising that goal
and will gradually bring us back into our everyday life,
but our daily practice does not return us to the exact place we started.
The practice has changed us.”
– TKV Desikachar