What My Daily Practice Looks Like

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | March 1st, 2012 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga

Daily Yoga PracticeStudent: Jill, what do you actually do for your personal yoga practice?

Me: I practice what I teach.

Student: You mean you don’t do anything else? Spinning? Or running? Or Zumba? I mean, how do you get your arms to look like that?

Me: I don’t mean to sound cryptic … but I practice what I teach.

It’s true. I have been practicing yoga and multiple movement arts since I was 11 years old, and the yoga practice I teach in the classroom (I began teaching part-time at age 19 at The Omega Institute) has evolved and changed with me through the past two decades. The work I share in my classes, workshops, conferences and videos all resonates with my own discoveries in my personal “jungle gym” of a practice.

Every movement, every moment.

One maxim that I hold to be true is that every moment counts, every movement counts. (Thank you, Zobha, for making this your awesome brand statement!) I would add to this: How you hold yourself in every movement amounts to moments that matter to your longevity.

In other words, we have choices to make in every moment about how we use our body to accomplish an action. These choices include our posture while standing in line, talking on the phone, sitting at our desk, during exercise or watching TV. Practice using your body in daily life the way a first-chair violinist maintains their precious instrument. Keep it in tune. Treat your body with impeccable form during all of the “small things.” This adds up to better posture over time. Practicing with your body in inefficient positions creates deficits in the body that can create imbalance, discomfort and pain.

You literally take your yoga practice with you wherever you go. Make it matter. Connect to the smaller actions in life. They add up!

How I stay in tune: A portrait of my daily practice

But if you are really curious as to what my daily yoga practice entails … here is what a good day looks like for me. My yoga practice is full of variety, and what I’ve pulled together below is just a small slice of a much larger pie. Of course, a year from now, this might all look totally different!

Jill Miller’s dogs
Typically, my practice begins with an early morning walk with my dogs. Here are Cassius and Deli doing “sit and stay” before their walk.

Jill Miller Yoga Tune Up balls
Back from the walk, some deep self-massage with my Yoga Tune Up® Balls. Targeting myofascial tension, stimulating proprioception and prepping my body for practice.

Jill Miller Psoas
Opening my hips and working my abdominals on my foam roller. A Supple Psoas is a prelude to all other hip movements.

Jill Miller dance
Playful dynamic warm up, also known as dancing (with my current fave, Robyn). Yes, that’s me on the right! I typically don’t need my wig and costume to get my boogie on, but occasionally it’s fun!

Jill MIller matador circles
Shoulder stabilization with Matador Circles to strengthen the entire rotator cuff.

Jill Miller Monk Walks

Monk Walks with Side Bends for whole-body integration. This pose makes the side of your core groan with glee!

Jill Miller inversion

Getting core-geous on the Balance Ball along with some Uddihyana Bandha. This is harder than it looks :)

Jill Miller squats
It’s even more fun to squat with friends!

Jill MIller Asymmetrical Twisted Triangle
Asymmetrical Twisted Triangle with a yoga block makes my hips happy.

Jill Miller backbend

Backbending. Notice how this pose comes near the end of my practice? I do backbends after I am very, very warm.

Jill Miller handstand

A fun Handstand and a moment of upside-down equipoise.

Jill Miller Leg Stretch #3
Unwind almost everything with Leg Stretch #3, a version of Twisted Triangle.

Jill Miller inversion
Veeparita Korani Mudra: This partial inversion helps to tune down the nervous system for meditation.

Jill Miller Savasana
Savasana: Deep, restorative Corpse Pose.

Jill Miller dogs
Playing with the dogs again. This time let’s play ROPEY!

Practice yoga with Jill Miller on GaiamTV.com.

Comments

  1. I tried to train my cats to walk on a leash. I saw some improvement over the coarse of the 3 days I endeavored to undo their genetic coding and make them into dogs, but not enough to squelch my impatience. They are much better as sand bags for my legs in Savasana. I’m grateful to my cats for keeping me grounded and teaching me that I can’t be the boss of everyone.

    laurelyoga | April 22nd, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  2. I particularly love reading this piece after completing the YTU 70 hour training. I have only been home a couple of days, and my personal practice is already evolving. It’s great to get some insight into what other people consider their personal practices to be, and fun to see how different it can be from person to person. This article has inspired me to add some expressive dancing back into my routine!

    kbutera | April 28th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  3. Yes i love every movement every moment….All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”
    ? Martha Graham

    Thanks
    waking up each day to move!

    Yogawear | March 6th, 2013 | Comment Permalink

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