Thanks for sending in your questions, keep 'em comin'! Here are this week's:
Question 1: Hi Candace! I want to build a consistent home practice. What is the best way to structure a home practice? Should I start with the same sequences repeated multiple times per week or alternate gentle sequences with power sequences? Should I practice the same time each day? Thanks for your input!
Answer 1: It's great you're looking to build a consistent practice at home. I think the best way to structure a practice is to figure out what works best for your body. Some people prefer to practice before breakfast, some people prefer to practice after work - there's no right or wrong answer, just do what feels good. Same thing for the amount of time. Yoga can be done for any length of time - whether you do thirty minutes of power yoga or two hours, it's all beneficial.
As for what to include in your sequence, you could do a bunch of sun salutes, or you could switch it up. If you're feeling creative, you could write down your sequence ahead of time so you don't forget it (a lot of people I know draw stick figure sequences, see above). I think you'll find that as you get more comfortable and familiar in your sequences you won't need to write them down anymore.
Related- How to create a yoga sequence.
Question 2: I always get so sweaty during power vinyasa classes that I slip on (and sometimes off) my mat. Do you have any suggestions, either a good no-slip mat or otherwise, to help prevent this? It takes me out of my practice when I have to focus on not falling down even in basic poses!
Answer 2: I totally understand how frustrating it can be when you start worrying you're gonna slip in a puddle of your own sweat in the middle of practice. I recommend the eKo Lite mat. It has one of the most unique finishes I've seen on a mat. It truly is non-slip. (See my review here.) If you wanted to stay with the mat you have, there are lots of options for hot yoga towels that you can drape over the mat. I haven't tried one myself, but the Yogitoes one might work for you. You're definitely not the only person with this problem, so if you find a solution you love (or hate!), I'd love to know!
Question 3: Hi Candace, I've got two questions for you today...
First, I've found that many times when I'm in pigeon pose during my vinyasa practice, I start crying. I'm not in any kind of physical pain (at my edge, yes, but not in pain), but for some reason that pose unlocks some serious emotion for me. Have you heard of anything like this? And is there anything I should do about it, or just let it be?
Secondly, have you heard of any yoga teacher training scholarships?
Thank you, thank you! Your blog is so beautiful and inspiring :)
Answer 3: Thanks for your kind words about my blog, and thank you for reading along. To answer your questions, I have absolutely have seen people cry in various positions, including pigeon. In my yoga training, we were told there's no need to really analyze it or anything, just let it be, take the emotions as the come, and acknowledge them without giving them energy, if that makes sense.
As for yoga teacher training scholarships, yes, I have heard of them. If there's a program you are interested in, I would email the directors and ask if there is a possibility of a scholarship in exchange for something. I've seen discounts given in exchange for cleaning or a commitment to work at the studio afterwards or help out in future teacher trainings. The worst they can say is no!
Question 4: I went back to yoga about a year ago after dabbling in it on and off for 20 years. I have been basically doing Gentle Hatha at least twice a week. I started at a new studio near my work three weeks ago. The instructor suggested I step up my class and attend this other more advanced class. I went last night. I really did okay, my balance isn't fabulous but I got through the class just fine. Afterward, when I was getting changed to go home, I felt horribly sick. I became dizzy and nauseated. I felt hot and light headed. I basically went home to bed at 8 pm. I feel just fine today, shoulders are a little stiff, but nothing bad. I cannot go home to bed after class every week (I have two teenaged boys). I really want to continue with the yoga and reap the health rewards in the long run, but it was horrible. How long will this last?? Will it pass at all? Should I continue with the more advanced class or go back, (which seems like a shame)?
Answer 4: Congrats for getting back into yoga! Yoga stimulates circulation and offers a massage for the internal organs through the poses we do. This leads to a clean out of the toxins in the system. The toxins are released into the bloodstream and you may feel dizzy or nauseous after the class. I'd recommend drinking water to help flush the toxins out, and taking it easy. So, overall the flushing out of the toxins is a really good thing- I mean, unless you were just coming down with something. With consistent practice that feeling should diminish, but remember there is no rush. You could do the more advanced class once every other week and do the gentle hatha in between and see how you feel. After a few weeks, maybe try the advanced class every week and a half, etc. I hope this is helpful!