While I don’t hold any aspirations of folding into a human pretzel anytime soon, I’ve made a little promise to myself to be 100% committed to my yoga practice. Even if it’s only five minutes a day. I am a young entrepreneur, mother of two lovely young daughters and wife to an equally busy husband. Yet, somewhere amidst the fullness of my life, I always make sure I stick by my commitment to yoga. I guess it’s my way of preparing for the day ahead or cooling off before the day ends. If you find yourself in a similar place of always feeling short on time, then hopefully these tips can help you to craft your own little yoga routine.
Start with just 5 minutes a day
I realised a long time ago that you just have to find those little pause-points that yoga offers in order to unwind. So where to begin I hear you ask? Begin with the knowledge that even five minutes of yoga a day will unleash positive benefits.
If you’ve ever been to a Yin Yoga class, you’ll recall that postures are held for quite a few minutes in order to truly allow you to surrender and find a deep level of release. Your body will thank you immensely even if you were to spend five minutes each morning in pigeon pose to release stored emotional energy (which ancient wisdom points to being held in our hips).
You see, it’s not the time spent, but rather the habit you’re creating in starting your day with yoga. As soon as you find your own little groove and routine, it simply becomes a part of your morning ritual; just like brushing your teeth. When you feel the benefits of yoga at a deep level, you’ll find that your eyes won’t continually glance at the clock, and before you know it you’ll be relaxing into ten or twenty minute sessions.
Solidify your reason for having yoga in your life
If your yoga mat has been collecting a bit of dust of late, the benefits of yoga might seem but a distant memory. However, if you cast your mind back to a time when you were regularly able to dedicate to your yoga practice, that motivation to dust off your mat will re-ignite. Personally, some of the most profound differences I notice from yoga are:
- The soothing sensation of a calm mind
- Overall more positive thoughts
- A deeper presence around friends or family.
- Less anger or frustration
- Awareness of breath
- Deeper sleeps
- Increased flexibility
- The removal of most of my niggling aches and pains that otherwise build up when I’m too busy to practice yoga
Yoga doesn’t have to be expensive
On average a yoga class costs between $15 and $20 for an hour session at established studios. However, you don’t need to let costs be the reason to keep your yoga mat rolled up in the corner! Keep your eyes out for classes offered by donation at your local park or entirely free classes at yoga expos.
If classes aren’t for you, the beauty of yoga is that anyone can learn as long as they have an internet connection. Practicing yoga via online tutorials is a great way to stay within the comforts of your own home and flow through postures without fear of being judged. You might find that you go to one paid class a month to improve your technique or receive guidance on correcting your postures.
You don’t need a large space to practice yoga on the go
You can get a little creative with the spaces around you when it comes to incorporating yoga throughout the day. It’s amazing the little stretches you can get away with even in the confines of a bathroom cubicle:
- Outstretching your arms and firmly pressing your hands into the wall, dropping your head between your hands (much like you do in downward dog)is an ideal way to release tension in your neck.
- Folding down and allowing your chest to rest on your knees (uttanasana) is a great way to calm your mind and take in some restorative deep breaths.
- Narrow stance triangle pose is good for stretching the side waist and opening the heart.
- Regularly stretching throughout the day, especially if you work a desk job is the key to maintaining agility, particularly as you move into your older years.
Eat foods as close to nature as possible
By including an abundance of fresh and lively foods in your diet, you will find you rise in the morning with a clear mind, feeling well rested, uplifted and energetic. I find a healthy diet goes hand in hand with my yoga routine as I feel completely grounded and centred when I eat well. You might view a good diet as the key foundation for not only tackling your yoga practice but also the day ahead. Think leafy greens, fresh fruits in season, healthy fats such as ghee, seeds and nuts.
I’ve found yoga to truly be the perfect solution for finding that still-point amidst the whirling chaos we call life. We tend to hold onto a lot of built up tension within the body, not only physically but also emotionally, therefore finding little pockets of time throughout the day to practice yoga will greatly benefit your overall health and wellbeing.