Yoga At Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Own Home Practice
In Yoga at Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Home Practice, author Linda Sparrowe presents 55 yogis who open their homes and hearts to offer tips for readers who want to discover their own personal practices, rather than simply repeating what they practice in class.
Some of the participants are celebrities. All are teachers. Some have additional professions. They live in various places around the world and are united in their advice to seek guidance from a teacher, especially about anatomy and physiology. Most of the asanas (poses) they demonstrate in Yoga at Home are deep back bends which include forearm balances and inversion (without instruction). Ideas for pranayama (breathwork), meditation, and the importance of practicing in sangha (community) are included.
Yoga at Home is richly produced with color photos that demonstrate just how little space is needed for a home practice. All the teachers encourage readers to start in a way that supports the time they can devote to home practice, among life’s many requirements.
The idea is that every experience is new and can produce observations that yogis may not otherwise recognize. For example, many of the teachers encourage readers to practice in the presence of their children, pets, and partners, and to notice the effect on the whole home.
The book opens with tips for creating space for practice. A small altar can include a photo, flower, candle, or other item. Suggestions are offered for using props. And there are some helpful photographic demonstrations for using space in nature for practicing yoga.
Yoga at Home is presented in an open and conversational tone, encouraging readers to explore their spiritual nature. Some of the teachers recommend maintaining a disciplined practice, while others prefer to take some time for observation and then practice what’s needed in the present moment.
Then the “home stories” flow. In each yoga teacher’s story, there is brief information about their vocation, location, and bio. From each teacher, there is a quote about home practice and some practice advice. Some of the stories include a sample practice, along with personal details or observations.
According to Justine Wiltshire Cohen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Yoga is . . . a profound challenge to a culture that values multitasking, sensory overload, and an addictive devotion to technology antithetical to the concept of being present and aware. The children of this generation will need to unlearn much of what they know by the age of eight. They will need to
practice how to unplug, to single-task, and to withdraw from endless opportunities for narcissism, distraction, and nonbeing. In such a society, stillness and silence become a radical act of courage, even defiance.”
Yoga at Home concludes with four suggested sequences for practicing at home:
The Magic 10 sequence includes asana photos, Sanskrit and English pose names, and suggested number of breaths to take in each posture. This section includes twists and lateral bends.
In 16 steps, Ease into Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose) provides asana photos with basic instructions for movement, breathwork, and ending postures.
From Effort to Joy is a practice offered in 21 steps, with breath instruction.
Finally, there is An Insight Yoga Practice, with asana names in Sanskrit and English, asana photos, and recommended breathwork. This section presents Surya Namaskaram (Sun Salutation) in three rounds/variations, with a set of standing postures to end the practice.
Information about contributors, resources, photo/text credits, permissions, and acknowledgments are provided in Yoga at Home. This book is recommended for yogis who want to gain the benefits of personal practice for working in rather than working out.