After my last post, I have had a few questions which I would like to address here...
But first, I would like to mention that I forgot 2 important days each month where it is also best not to practice: Full Moon and New Moon.
Also, please note that those "interdiction" (Saturdays, Full Moon, New Moon, Women's cycle, state of illness) are not set in stone... as yoga is about being flexible, sometimes Saturday is the only day you have to practice... in which case, you can still do it is just that your practice may "feel" different then if you were to do it another day - and maybe more difficult... same for the others "preferably-no-practice-days". These no-practice-days are also based on the traditional Ashtanga practice which I base most of my lifestyle on even thus to me the actual Ashtanga series are to physical to complete with my condition - it would be long to explain why here, but it has to do with the Doshas and the Chakras. My daily practices are inspired by it but modified to fit my health condition. Also according to Ashtanga, you have to practice 6 days a week which I do not ... 3-4 are as good as it gets for me now... and that is OK too.
What you have to remember is that you should practice as often as you can.... but don't beat yourself over it... slowly your life will adapt to allow for more practice and remember that practice is NOT ONLY ASANAS... practice is the complete lifestyle of a yogi (so in that respect, I do practice every day after all). You can do 2h of Asanas per day and never be a yogi. Practice compassion, empathy, change the way you eat and the impact you have on all living being around you, this is ALSO practicing yoga.
One of the question I got was why no practice on Saturday... and basically it has to do with the moon which is associated to that day. Any serious Ashtanga yoga website or book will address it but you can read more about it here for a basic explanation.
As for all the others questions, they were ALL related to what are the 12 positions to get a complete practice. Well, I must say that this is my own personal best... I am no yoga teacher - I did start my training as a yoga teacher but stopped for personal reasons... but I have learned over time that in ANY course you'll go you'll end up doing those... that those Asanas ensure all your body is solicited and that all your Chakras are impacted. This is MY personal routine and I am happy to share with you... If I was not so self-conscious, I may add a video or pictures but I am not ready for that yet...
So here it is, my personal daily practice, it does the job for me!
I always start sitting down cross-legged, eyes closed and take really deep breath for a few minutes. Kind of like a meditation where I clear my mind of everything - or try to anyway.
Then I do a few neck stretches, stretch my arms and side by bending my torso left and right... proceed to rotate my torso in a twist. I always do this starting with the left and then the right (why you should start with the left has to do with your digestive system). I then bring the sole of my feet together and do butterfly for a while to open my hips. Then stretch my left leg and right leg independently. All this with my eyes closed while deep breathing. I then go into child pose for a few deep breaths.
I then proceed to 5-6 sun salutations (if you are new to yoga and have no clue what the sun salutation is, you can look it up on YouTube)
Then I have my own flow of Asanas I like to continue with:
Tree - both legs
Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Triangle, Warrior 3, Reverse side angle pose. (then switch side and do the same)
Then, Crow pose for arm balance, Boat pose, Bridge and either Headstand or Leg-up-the-wall for an inversion.
I always end up with closing my hearth - lying on my back, and holding my legs with my arms on my abdomen. Then a few twists on each side always starting with the left and Savasana for as long as you can. It allows your body to "digest" your practice.
I do all Asanas for anywhere between 5-8 deep slow breaths depending on how I feel. I try to hold the Headstand up to 12 breathes.
When I feel like doing more, I can do more Sun Salutations... maybe do the "warrior-triangle" thing twice on each side...stay longer in meditation or do a few more stretches at first. I can try and Handstand or any more difficult Asanas. I can also look up YouTube to find great teacher on-line that post free routine you can do while watching.
This is about it... I hope it addresses you questions and concerns and please do not hesitate if you have more... it is always a pleasure to hear from you and see you are interested in improving your lives.
Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...