Daily Yoga For a Tight Schedule
Let’s be real here. Not all of us have the time to commit to a 60 minute – 75 minute asana practise every single day. You know what? That’s okay! In today’s world, many of us have 40-hour work weeks, household commitments, kids, chores and so on. Before we know it, we’ve tossed our yoga practice aside to revisit it tomorrow or whenever time allows.
For anyone who’s a busy yogi, I understand the struggle of balancing a quality practice with the demands of the world around us. As someone who spends up to 15 hours per a day at work, and spends my free time taking advantage of the short, but sweet snowboarding season here in Whistler, I too consider myself a busy yogi.
Luckily, a busy yogi can commit to their practice even though they may not have a substantial amount of time in their day. Being a busy yogi, I’ve come up with my own strategies to ensure that I practice a little bit of yoga every single day.
Although it’s tough to admit, I’m not one of those people that wake up early enough to make my breakfast, let alone make time in the morning to meditate. Meditation everyday is something that’s very important to me, but I’m unable to fit it in my schedule first thing in the morning. Have no fret! Thankfully, there are small breaks in the day that can be taken advantage where 5 minutes can be reserved to just focus on your breath and be present. Lately I’ll do this while on my lunch break at work while walking to the grocery store to pick-up my meal, but there are several other ways you can do this. This includes, but is not limited to: while commuting in the car, taking out the dog, walking/biking to where you need to go if you’re not driving, during a quick break at work, etc. The possibilities are endless, and all it takes is 5 minutes!
Another way I my practice as a busy yogi is by singing! As someone who struggles with communication, singing on my own out loud is a great way to open and work the throat chakra! Thankfully I have some time in my mornings to blast some music and sing at the top of my lungs. Whether it be in the shower, in the car, at work, or out in public – sing away! A good karaoke session and some ‘jalandhara bandha’ (neck lock) exercises can be just as effective as an entire asana practise on fuelling/cooling down the throat chakra!
I always make the effort at the beginning of a day to set an intention or pick a mantra I’d like to focus on for the day. This takes two minutes to think of, and another two to write down in my journal. Setting intentions or mantra’s help one strive towards goals, dreams and can help get through a trying day. Sometimes I’ll chose a more focused intention. An example would be telling yourself “you are the only thing limiting yourself – Strive to be limitless and open minded.” Other times, I’ll go for a much more traditional mantra like “Om Mani Padme Hum” if I intend to be more compassionate. This intention or mantra can vary day, by day, but it something that takes very little time to do and helps you stick to doing everything with intention! Sometimes I even play the chants of the intention/mantra loud and sing to them! As a busy yogi, singing out loud in the car was one of my favourite ways to practice this!
Last, but not least is to take a 5 minute ‘asana break’ where ever you are. In all honesty, people do stranger things in public and taking 5 minutes to do some quick yoga poses where you are can make you feel great! There are several travel yoga mats or blankets available that are a blessing for busy yogi’s. Even at that, you don’t need a mat to do a few gentle back bends or standing forward folds. Spending a few minutes on 2 or 3 asana’s can effectively kick-start your chakra’s. Depending on what your intention of the poses are, they can make either you feel energized and ready to take on the remainder of the day or they can help relax you when dealing with tough decisions or stressful situations! While it’s tough to not make excuses as to why we can’t do our practice, it’s important to accept that sometimes life gets overwhelming. It’s not always realistic to do a lengthy practice every single day. Just remember, a little bit of yoga every day is still possible!