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Friday, February 15, 2013

My yoga routine

My yoga routine has evolved  a lot over the years...
It first really started, as explained in  Life Happens, as suggested by my psychologist after a diagnosis with MS (multiple sclerosis).  At first is was mostly stretches... deep conscious breathing done in my living room following some DVD I bought... it was weird at first.... to take the time to slow down...  I had never done that!I was only 31... who slows down at 31?  Slowing down is for old people...  but I needed to do it!  I really trusted that psychologist and wanted to give it a try...  my husband joined me to encourage me... 

A few months after that, I started getting books on yoga... to get to know different options... and I got more DVDs...  and as I got physically in better shape and managed to restore my sleep I went into Hatha Yoga.  This type of yoga is used in America mostly as a physical activity with deep breathing and meditation component and his recognize as a stress reducing discipline -  I needed to manage my stress in order to deal with my MS.  I register at a studio and it was amazing.... I went there for almost 2 years and then the studio moved to Ontario (3 hours away from where I live).  I went back into practicing at home what I had learned.... with some more DVDs... and some books.

Over that period of time, I included into my routine the 5 yamas of Patanjali into my everyday life:  Ahimsa (non-violence), Sataya (truthfulness), Asteya (non stealing), Brahmacharya (spiritual advancement) and Aparigraha (non-appropriation).  Those yamas changed my life... and while I was still doing my breathing, meditation and asanas they started guiding who I was off the mat!  And this is really what yoga is all about... not just a physical exercise...  For Ahimsa, I gave up meat... Sataya, I learned to speak the truth always using the appropriate words not to hurt people (back to Ahimsa)... Aparigraha I became a minimalist (why should I own everything?  do I really need that much stuff?  aren't I taking it away from other people?).  I am also, by increasing my meditation practice and by looking into Buddhism, working on Brahmacharya.  As for Asteya, I never stole anything really but keeping stuff I do not use is actually stealing from someone who could use it so I ended up decluttering my house!

At one point I needed to go back to a studio...  so I started going to a yoga studio own by Yasmin and I got to meet this amazing young yogini... I started practicing Ashtanga yoga... I did that for almost 2 years only to realize that it did not agree with me.  I had even started doing my yoga teacher training in Ashtanga and I had to quit because I was getting overwhelmed and physically to a place I did not wanted to go...  Let's say that MS was very happy I took up Ashtanga!

I went back to my home practice...  which is what I still do for now...  It is a mix of Hatha and Ashtanga... with low intensity...  and lots of deep breathing, stretching and meditation.  Not even sure it has a name...  but it works for me...

It goes like this and I do it at 5 am because this is the best time for me!

Start of with deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing as well as kapalabathi breathing.
Some stretches to awake by body - eyes exercises, shoulder, wrists, hips, legs and twist...  to awaken myself...
Then I go into some sun salutations...  number varies day to day
I then do warrior, triangle, boat, bridge,  foward fold and whatever asanas I feel like doing...
More twists
I end up in savasana all the time

It can take anywhere between 30 min to an hour depending on the time I have...

I also modify this routine according to how I feel, the seasons and my hormonal cycle.

This is what suits me now... but I am starting to feel the need to go to a studio... and there is a Sivananda yoga studio close to my place...  according to what I was told by a yoga teacher and a dear friend of mine, this is the type of yoga that would be perfect for me... so I will give it a try soon...

In teh mean time I am practicing being a true yogine on and off the mat!!!  And it is not always easy... but always very rewarding!!!

love and peace,


  1. I'm more into anusara yoga and some vinyasa flow.
    5 am!! That's fantastic! I tried for some time to get up at 5, then 5.30, but 6 am is my ideal time to get up and have time to myself (to do my yoga, meditation ad writing). What time do you go to bed??

  2. I hear you.... I did hear about Anusara yoga and I love the philosophy behind it!! Unfortunately, at the present moment, there are no studio offering this tpe of yoga close by my house...
    I will let you know about my experience with SIvananda yoga once I get to visit the studio.. maybe in a few weeks when the weather gets nicer and I actually feel like going out at night! :-)

  3. forgot to get back to you on one question... I actually go to bed somewhere between 9pm and 10pm depending on the days... I need roughly 7h sleep to be functionnal!!!

  4. I would like to try yoga! Do you have any DVD you would recommend for beginners?

  5. I would go with Yasmin's DVD... it is for sale at Lululemon in Montreal... here's the link to hte website if you wish to buy it there:

    I also like Rodeny Yee and Seane Corn a LOT... you can find their DVD in many book stores... or here:,default,sc.html
    But the most important thing is to go with a DVD that is for Beginner... and there might be some trial and errors... as what suits me may not suit you!
    Let me know once you bought and tried one!