As I begin writing this, it is Sunday, and this morning I realized that I have formed a healthy habit! :) I have been placing my yoga mat in the same place every day, and I have been practicing on it, around the same time, every single day. How did this happen?
Before I read Lesson 2 from the book we are working with, “A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya,” and of which I am about to share with you, I used to place my yoga mat in the living room of my home. I would practice on it throughout the week, but not daily. Now, I find myself drawn to my mat, and I believe the reason is that I followed the directions from the book, and mindfully created a place of practice that is special to me. I created it with intention. And I've been practicing slowly, taking my time, never feeling rushed or forced.
Let me tell you about my teeny-tiny yoga space. The space I have created is cozy and receives a lot of sunlight, which is so important to me here in London. I didn't want to clutter the space, so I selected only a few yoga items, displayed pleasantly. My Tibetan singing bowl. A plant. A few yoga blocks of various sizes. An eye pillow filled with lavender. A strap. A small bag with a few also intentionally chosen essential oils in it: lavender, rosemary, jasmine flower. And that’s it.
My yoga space is welcoming. It calls to me now, whereas before, the place I had initially been practicing in, the living room, hardly caught my attention at all.
And so, as a result of consciously preparing a yoga space for myself, I have been practicing more often. Lately, I begin my practice with the yoga asanas that we learned in the last chapter (I save naukasana (boat pose), savasana (corpse pose), and pranayama for the end of my entire practice). Then I move into something different. Lately, I have been practicing ashtanga yoga, but only Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B. This usually takes me about 15-20 minutes to complete, in addition to the 10 minutes I spend on the kriya asanas we’ve learned. Sometimes after ashtanga, I do more of my own personal flows, following my intuition and my body’s signals. Sometimes I continue with more ashtanga. Sometimes I rest and practice pranayama and then rest in savasana. And sometimes, I only get through five rounds of Surya Namaskara A, and then I relax and put my mat away. It all depends. The point, though, is that I am practicing every day. Sometimes more than once a day.
I feel so much healthier. My mood is lighter. I have more energy. I feel grounded. So, I’d like to share what I’ve been learning with you now with the hope that it will also help you find the same sense of groundedness and peace that I saw as a result of following a few rules and preparation tips I discovered in the Kriya Yoga book. I wish you all the best as you prepare your yoga and meditation space with love and intention. ❤ ~ Ashley
In this blog you will find:
A Teeny Tiny Yoga Space & A Teeny Tiny Yogi
Asanas: Rules and Preparation
Here are some of the written guidelines to be observed during asana practice, as stated in the, "A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya". I've also included a video of myself below, in which I explain a bit more about some of these points and offer examples of how these rules have positively impacted my own practice.
Lesson 2, Topic 3 - Discussion
Rules & Preparations: