Here are some ways to enliven your practice, especially if you have been practicing the same way for a long time. I do not suggest trying to combine exercises (eg doing standing postures 10 breaths each, with full vinyasa and left side first….too many things to juggle!). Play with these as your time and interest permit.
1. Hold standing postures for 10 breaths each, once a week. Observe the effects on the rest of your practice.
2. Hold the first half portion of primary postures (paschtimottanasana to marichaysana D) for 8 to 10 breaths each, once a week.
3. Do full vinyasa for the first half of Primary Series (if you have never done full vinyasa before, ask me and I will instruct you. Your practice session may be longer than usual!).
4. Hold upward dog for 2 to 4 breaths when doing the floor vinyasa in Primary Series. (Especially if all you do is primary series and no intermediate series, you need to start holding upward dog longer at least two practice times a week).
5. Slow down the breath to a five-count inhale and five-count exhale when doing the finishing series.
6. Do Primary Series left-side first. This includes surya B left lunge first, stepping to your left in standing, doing lotus left-side first, rolling anticlockwise in garbha pindasana, etc.
7. Use a belt around your elbows and/or your thighs in urdhva dhanurasana. Especially if you have tight shoulders, this is a good exercise to do for a month or longer. Just remember to take one session to do the posture without the prop!
I would love to hear your feedback on any of these experiments. You can leave a comment below!
One thought on “7 ways to reinvigorate your Ashtanga practice”
Great suggestions! Slowing things down can be very powerful. I also like to practice (in the morning) listening to a classical morning raag. The music starts so slowly and builds over about 40 minutes or so.
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