Life is pretty busy, and although we might love the idea of slowing down, taking some time for ourselves, and reaping the benefits yoga practice promises, sometimes in practice, it can be hard to simply just find the time. Yoga urges you to slow down, but sometimes, work, housework, responsibility and family duties don’t give you an opportunity for some time off to roll out your mat.
If you’re finding it hard to juggle a busy schedule, you might have brushed off yoga as something you just don’t have time for, and start denying yourself those minutes in the day that are just for you. Taking time for yourself is important, and yoga can massively benefit both your physical and mental health - so don’t be so quick to write it off as something not important. Even the busiest of people can benefit from all yoga has to offer - here’s some tips on how to fit yoga into your busy schedule.
Keep Your Yoga Mat in Eyesight
Rolling up your yoga mat and putting it away in a cupboard or up on a shelf is a sure fire way to make sure you never get it out again! The effort of getting it out can be just what your brain needs to say ‘oh I don’t have time’, and it turns your yoga practice into a bigger mission. Having your mat where you can see it, or already rolled out in a quiet spot in your house can help you to practice yoga more frequently - and means you can fit in a quick practice when you have the time - waiting for dinner to cook, in between ad breaks in television, if your mat is already out, it’s so much easier to fit in a few minutes.
Tell Yourself That All You Can Do is Enough
If you tell yourself that a short yoga practice is enough, you’ll be more motivated to go do it. If you’re used to hour-long yoga classes, or even longer yin practices, you may think that a shorter practice just isn’t worth it. But even a few minutes of stretching is enough for your body to feel it and reap the benefits! If you don’t have a full hour, or even half an hour, you can still fit a yoga practice in - and you won’t feel bad for running late for that meeting, or missing out on family time because of your dedication to the mat. Every little helps, so do what you can and don’t punish yourself if it’s not very long!
Don’t Beat Yourself Up if You Don’t Have Time
Sometimes life gets in the way and you literally just don’t have any free time for yoga. That’s okay! Things happen, whether it’s a household emergency, or work commitments, or you just want another glass of wine instead. Even if you don’t have time for the physical asana, you can use these days to take the lessons you learn on the yoga mat into the outside world with you.
These include focusing your breath, practicing mindfulness, and being kind to yourself - aka don’t beat yourself up that you missed your practice!
Practice When Your Body Needs To
Some people aren’t morning people - so a 6am yoga practice before heading off to work is just not going to work for them. We all know our body clocks and when we feel the most energised during the day, so it’s impossible to try and work around this - no matter how many times you read the benefits of a morning yoga practice. The key is to remember everyone if different, and to not feel bad if you prefer a few more moments in bed rather than on the mat - just practice in the evening instead!
Yoga practice is supposed to feel good- not torture that you force your body into! It’s much easier to find the time and to keep committed when you practice at a time that’s best for you.
Change Up Your Practice
Changing up your practice to what you have time for in the moment is a great way to stay committed and to fit it into a busy day. Maybe if you have more time, you do a more dynamic practice, or if you have 15 minutes before you head out the door, you do a slower less strenuous practice that means you’ll be less sweaty. Yoga is a great exercise, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t always need to be intense, and if some days you only have time for a mild practice, that’s totally ok! Be present for the practice of yoga itself - rather than the burn or the weight loss. This is what will keep you returning to the mat, and finding time in busier days.
Do it for Yourself
The simplest way to fit yoga into a busy schedule is to allow yourself to come first. We all hold many commitments to other people, and spend much of our time and energy meeting others needs, colleagues, partners, or children. Allowing yourself to become the priority, and saying no to others, gives you the time to practice yoga (or even do something else for yourself).
To help you, This week's classes are all about giving yourself permission to relax and chill. These classes are here to help you unwind, recharge, and remember to relax. Yes, while determination and ambition are essential, it's also important to take a break from your task oriented mindset, and simply relax. Fortunately, yoga can help in this process. These classes will help not only your body, but also your mind relax, with a mix of different yoga styles and a meditation class.
By Amy Cavill
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