Students often say that they “don’t know what to practice” at home. Yet practicing on one’s own is a key component of yoga. To help, you can download and practice with this home sequencing and practice guide. Practicing by yourself and practicing regularly grows greater self-knowledge. Just as speaking a new language or playing a new musical instrument once a week will get you some benefit, you only really improve when you practice regularly.
Patanjali puts it this way:
1.13 Practice (abhyasa) means choosing, applying the effort, and doing those actions that bring a stable and tranquil state (sthitau).
1.14 When that practice is done for a long time, without a break, and with sincere devotion, then the practice becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as translated by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharat.
For the most part, any practice is better than no practice. Even 5 or 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference. And it is better to practice 5-10 minutes daily than it is to practice once a week for an hour.
The chart below gives guidance on how to sequence your practice and some possible poses to practice. Sequencing in Iyengar Yoga is considered very important. The purpose, as Patanjali says in Sutra 1.13, is to “bring a stable and tranquil state.” Therefore we sequence the practice to help the nervous system become stable. For example, if we practice headstand, we always practice shoulderstand or one of its variations. This is to balance the heating properties of headstand.
Click on the chart below to download the home sequencing and practice guide to help you practice at home. The left-hand column shows the order in which to practice categories of poses. The other columns show possible poses to practice within each category.