Yes I love practicing yoga. And it’s easy for me to acknowledge the benefits because they are so tangible—better posture, less stress, more flexible, easeful breathing; the list goes on and on. But the challenge for me is how to fit yoga into my daily schedule given all the things that I have to do. I am sure we’re familiar with “the things;” work, family, social commitments, cooking, etc—they all compete for time and space in my life. It’s so easy for me to just to say, “nah, I haven’t got time for yoga today.” The problem is, it’s also easy to say the same thing the next day, the day after and so on until I find my yoga practice has stopped dead in its tracks; it’s become a weekly event or just happens on occasion.
I’ve found a couple of ways of tackling this issue. First, I’ve found that even if I only practice 15 minutes of yoga a day, it’s far more beneficial for me than a one hour session once a week or fortnight. I also try and practice my yoga at the same time every day—for me, it’s just before I leave for work. By doing this I’ve found that my body has developed a memory and is now in a rhythm; when the time of day for yoga comes around, I can sense my body is ready willing and able to commit. I also plan what group of asanas I will do ahead of time. One day my primary focus will be on twists, another day standing postures, the next day could be back bends followed by forward bends and side stretches the day after. So, during the week I do a full range of asanas. I also schedule in Shavasana, (deep relaxation) for 3 to 4 minutes after each session—this is an essential for me.
My other approach is simply being aware of the opportunities I have during the day to practice good posture and flexibility. For example as I sit in the train commuting to work I can be mindful of maintaining the extension of my spine and shoulders, allowing my chest to open and breathe easefully. If I can’t get a seat then I can practice Tadasana, (mountain pose) which energizes me.
The more I do this the more I find there are numerous ways and means of engaging with my yoga practice; ensuring yoga is integrated into my day to day life and thereby enriching my experience of living on this wonderful planet.
I’d love to hear about creative ways you do this in your life.