Yoga is an ancient practice with archaeological evidence dating back to the Indus Valley people about 5300 years ago. That doesn’t mean you can’t update your own practice into something more individualized to yourself. In fact, for me that is one of the great things about yoga. So I thought I might take a moment to discuss my creative process for making new yoga routines.
I have mainly been trained in Hatha yoga as well as picking up various styles from different teachers and I am still exploring and discovering what works best for me. I am sure this will be ongoing throughout my life. So, I like to play around with what I learn and make it a bit my own. Sun Salutation is great and I love doing it, particularly as a warm up. Moon Salute is also nice. When I want something different then I get out my journal and go into my studio ( a room in my house I emptied out for yoga).
I almost always start just standing and breathing then moving slowly to see where my body wants to go that day. Finding my intent for the routine I want to make. Is this for a class I want to teach? If so, is it a beginning class or more advanced? Where do I hope to share this class? Maybe its just for me. If that is the case does any part of my body need special attention? Am I flexible today or stiff? As I start to get a rhythm going I will pause between sequences and make quick little stick people of the poses. Sometimes with notes below.
After this step I will transfer the routine into nicely drawn stick people into my journal. This way I can just glance at the stick person routine as I teach allowing for smooth transitions in class. I find this also allows for spontaneous changes during the class if that is what needs to happen. Having many of these routines written out makes it easy to set an intention and then mix and match to create a whole new routine. Creating new routines isn’t for everyone but I sure enjoy doing it.