Yoga is good for us, that much we know is true. But amid our already overpacked schedules, it’s often a struggle hit the mat. The good news is you don’t have to attend a full 90-minute session to experience the benefits of yoga. You can practice poses and meditate anytime, anywhere to the point where it naturally becomes a part of your daily routine. Here’s some great ways to extend your practice beyond the mat:
Take deep, deliberate breaths
We've talked about the amazing benefits of breathing exercises previously. The focus on breathing is a key pillar in yoga and every session should encourage you to take full, deep breaths throughout. What’s great is that you don’t have to be doing yoga to enjoy the many benefits of practising this type of breathing.
Ideally, you want to master taking deep, meaningful breaths during the busiest parts of your day. Stressful moments, such as finding yourself trapped in a frustrating conversation or rushing things to make a deadline are also a great time to take a second to take a full breath and exhale gently. Focusing on your breathing is a great way to be more mindful.
Practice yoga poses at your desk
If your work involves sitting at a desk all day, there’s an elegant lineup of yogic activities and exercises that you can incorporate into your work hours and help your posture in the process. A quick shoulder stretch followed by a seated twist and end with a seated cat and cow spinal stretch. There’s many others that you can include in your routine or maybe even mix it up a bit by including some standing poses.
Focus your attention on being mindful
Yoga is about being in the moment. Some days may feel particularly long and you can’t just wait to turn in for the night, but the goal here is to experience every moment as deeply as you can and be present with others. It’s easy to let our minds wander especially during our daily commute or listening to people talk about things that don't really interest us, but one of the greatest services we can provide is to truly pay attention and give ourselves fully to others.
Reserve a few minutes every day for yoga
If you can't make it to a full class, set aside 10 to 15 minutes every day to practice some yoga poses. You can practice immediately you wake up, during your lunch break or during the evening to stretch the body and relieve stress. Developing a good habit just requires consistency so if we can make time for yoga for two weeks consistently then it becomes a part of our routine. Checkout our home yoga series of articles to help you make the most of yoga at home.
While a yoga mat, straps, blocks, and other apparatus are essential tools, you’ll find that you can also do your yoga without them in a very satisfying way throughout your day. Just remember that yoga should never feel like a chore, in fact, no wellness exercise should. Every day we have so many things that we do because we have no other option, but yoga should not be one of them. So if you do decide to incorporate yoga into your daily activities, do it because you know it makes you feel better.
Read next >>>