5 ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life (without coming to class – no seriously!)
OK so we know that we feel better after going to yoga, we know that we should roll out our mat at home and we’ll magically solve all of life’s stresses but hey….we’re realistic; we got caught up at work, the traffic was bad, the kids needed feeding! Trust me, there’s a myriad of reasons to put off going to class (we’ve heard them all) so we’ve created a 5-step guide to practising some element of yoga every day…
We’ve based this list on the fact that lots of our students ask us how to become calmer, how to reduce stress and what they can do at home to complement their time on the mat! If this is you then keep reading…
1. The new improved WAKE UP
What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off? Hit snooze and roll over? Jump out of bed, rush to get ready and fly out of the house? Either one of these is fine by the way but I want you to try to become a third option…stop for a moment and stretch!!
Don’t find your mat or get changed; just stretch.
Take a full body stretch, hug the knees in, do a couple of twists side to side, maybe a leg stretch or two. Notice how good it feels first thing in the morning to give your body time to WAKE UP rather than the habit you currently have.
2. The COMMUTE
This is my personal favourite! Whether you drive or take the train or bus I have an awesome trick to send you into work feeling calmer…
If you drive: make your first journey of the day a silent one, keep the radio off, don’t take any calls, simply have some time with your thoughts. Believe me, without the distraction of the news and music you’ll arrive at your desk with a clearer head and a fresher outlook!
If you take the train: same applies! Throw some headphones on but don’t have anything playing. It’s a great way of dulling some of the external noise and ensures people won’t ‘disturb’ you; your goal if you’re taking this option is to do the entire journey without looking at your phone! I dare ya 😊
3. At your DESK
OK so I know it’s not going to work in every situation but where possible give yourself the opportunity to stretch, move and twist at your desk. Try to do just 2 poses every hour and hold them for a few breaths; by the end of the day you’ll have done a class! (just make sure it’s not savasana)
A few great options that can be done seated are: thread the needle legs, eagle arms, seated cat/cow, neck stretches. All great for those of you sat behind a desk all day!
4. On your LUNCH
If at all possible try to grab a little bit of time outside…if you’re stuck in an office open the window and take a few deep breaths. Just going for a walk around the building or the car park can have a positive effect on your mind and send you into the afternoon re-energised and ready for action.
The key here is giving yourself permission to take this time…I’m the worst for ploughing through work and forgetting to take a break but it’s SO important. Fresh air, a little nature and a few deep breaths change everything! Even better if you can leave your phone behind (if you didn’t ‘gram it did it even happen!)
Aaaaah you made it! The day is done and you’re ready to hit the hay…
Can’t sleep? Struggle to get to sleep? Check your emails last thing at night? STOP! Get out of bed lie with your legs up the wall and close your eyes. Take a few minutes here focusing on your breath, the inhale, the exhale, the sensation. Try to notice every part of the body and allow it to relax slowly using the breath as an anchor to stop your mind from drifting.
After about 5 minutes, get back in to bed and close your eyes, with any luck you’ll drift off in no time. Sweet dreams!
The great thing about these 5 tips is that they take virtually no extra time out of your day! You are simply taking parts of the day that you currently fill with certain habits and trying to replace them with more mindful, beneficial ones.
We try to practice what we preach on a regular basis and these are just a few of the things that help us relax, unwind and generally feel more positive and productive throughout the day!
Let us know which ones you try and how they make YOU feel in the comments below…in the meantime why not practice the poses on our worksheet at your desk!