Why is it good to practice a little bit of yoga every day?
Practicing yoga is not always about getting a sweaty workout. People practice many different types of yoga to benefit in different ways. For example, there is restorative yoga, which helps the body to relax and open up; and there are yoga breathing techniques you can practice which can help to clear the mind and focus the brain. If you set aside a small amount of time during each day to practice some yoga, you can benefit from it even more in your everyday life.
But how can we fit yoga practice into our busy working lifestyles?
When you think of a yoga practice; yoga mats, yoga pants, yoga blocks and a big spacious gym might come to mind, but you don’t necessarily need all of these things for your yoga practice. It all depends on what kind of yoga you want to do and what the space or situation caters for. For example, you are not likely to want to lug your yoga mat to work with you, or get it out if you work in an office or a school, because you may not feel comfortable or want to draw attention to yourself. It may not be appropriate either if say, you work in a hospital or spend your lunch break in a busy canteen.
The first thing to think about is where in your working day is it most likely that you can put aside 5-20 minutes for your yoga? Is it at home before you leave for work? Is it on a tea or lunch break? Is it at the end of your working day before you leave, or on your way home? Do you have kids, and will this affect you being able to carve out some time in the evening? Try to figure out when the most suitable time for your yoga is, and realistically how much time you can dedicate to your practice, even if it is only 5 minutes.
How to prepare for your daily yoga practice
Once you have decided when you are going to do your yoga practice, you will then need to make some preparations so that when it comes to doing your yoga practice there will be nothing to put you off. The time of the day you find most convenient for a spot of yoga will tell you where you are most likely able to do your practice. Here are some ideas…
- If you have chosen to do it in the morning before you leave for work you may decide to do a short Sun Salute Sequence before you have your shower. It makes sense then to do your practice in the bathroom, if there is space for your mat. This means that you can lock the door and have 5-10 minutes peace and privacy before your shower to focus on your yoga practice. You can prepare by making sure you keep your mat rolled and propped up in a corner in the bathroom. You might want to light a candle to create a relaxing ambience and sense of meditation, so make sure you have a small corner in your bathroom with a few tea lights on a saucer and a lighter so that you can light them quickly. It is always good to have a clock so that you can keep an eye on the time, and if you want to use music, a small cd player or your smartphone will suffice.
- If you decide to put a few moments aside before work after you have left the house for your yoga practice, why not park up and sit in your car for 5 minutes before going in to work, and take some time to go through a few yoga breathing exercises? There is no need for any movement. Just sit up straight in your car seat and do some deep yoga breathing. It will help to prepare you for the day, and calm down any adrenaline or stress from fighting morning traffic so that you are ready to enter your workplace feeling clear-headed and ready for anything!
- If you have a gym membership, could you pop into the gym on your way home from work every day – not for a big workout, but just a short restorative personal yoga practice? Take half an hour to an hour, change your clothes and unwind with a sequence that helps you to unwind after a hard day at work.
Why not create a dedicated spot in your home to practice your yoga?
If you take yoga seriously, it might be a good idea to create an area in your home that is like a feel-good retreat; a place you can go to whenever you want to practice your yoga, rest or meditate. Here are some things to consider in designing your very own yoga spa area in your own home.
- What makes you feel at peace? Perhaps lighting some scented candles or incense helps you to enter a meditative state of mind? Do you prefer to be near a window with an inspiring view?
- Create your own collection of music to suit the different types of yoga you like to practice at different times of the day.
- Think about lighting. Do you prefer bright lights or dim lights?
- What about a mirror?
- Do you live in a small space? If so, can you store your mat flat under your bed so that you don’t have to have it laid out constantly in the way, and you don’t have to unroll it every time you want to use it?
Share your inspiring yoga ideas with us
It is always an inspiration to discover how other people make yoga a part of their everyday lives. If you have any special routines or yoga tips you would like to share, leave your ideas in the comments section below, and don’t forget to comment on other people’s ideas too!