Finding time for our yoga practice may seem like an impossible task. Between work, kids, housework and other day to day tasks, the only posture we squeeze into our day could be shavasana before bed. To help you out, here are some suggestions to sneak in your practice!
1. Schedule it in
Put it in your Google Calendar or set up an alarm for daily reminder. Make your yoga practice the same as an appointment to the doctor, meeting an important client or picking up a big cheque from your employer. You'll be surprise how suddenly you can squeeze in your regular schedule plus an hour of yoga practice in the day.
2. Plan your sequence
For home practice, always have a sequence ready to go. The last thing you need is to ponder what poses to do when you're crunch for time. You don't need to choreograph an elaborate yoga sequence with intricate transitions. Keep it simple. Start with a few sun salutations, some standing and seated postures, headstand, shoulder stand, twists, shavasana. Never skip shavasana and allocate at least 5-10 minutes of silent meditation in the end. This is what set yoga apart from regular exercises. Shavasana and meditation give us tremendous mental benefits. They help us set a tranquil tone for the rest of the day! There are many online yoga videos that you can customize your own class including picking the duration, style of yoga, target areas (shoulders, hips, core..etc) and levels of experience.
3. Start the day with 10 minutes of...
I'm sure you have already sourced out the local yoga studios, online videos and even have a buddy system. But for whatever reasons, you lack the necessary motivation to keep up a daily practice. Here is when the power of intention comes into play. Every morning when you wake up, set aside 10 minutes for the following:
- Calming breathing (5 minutes): Inhale through both nostrils and hold for 3 seconds. Exhale through both nostrils silently. Repeat. Calming breathing clears the thoughts that cloud the mind the moment you get up.
- Repeat an affirmation internally (5 minutes): Choose an affirmation that aligns with you. For example: " I am loved by those around me, I feel no fear, I am safe." To make time for yoga means self-love. Affirmation is like pouring love straight to our souls, it grounds us.
When finished, set an intention for the day. For example:
"I will nourish my soul and spirit by going to yoga."
" I deserve time for healing and nourishing."
" I treat all living beings including myself with love and kindness."
When you're calm and feel grounded, the intention that you set for the day will tend to stick.
There will be those days you simply cannot practice physical yoga, however you can practice the other aspects of yoga like meditation before bed, pranayama on the bus or be nice to those around you. This will also receive tremendous benefits!
This article is written by Annie Au, RYT 500, yoga teacher, vegan and traveller.