We can all understand the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. We lead busy lives, and with so much to do, it can often feel impossible to find the time that we need to focus on ourselves. However, making time for yoga can go a long way to helping you strike a balance and combat the stress that goes hand in hand with modern day living.
WHY YOU NEED YOGA
As a yoga teacher, I appreciate the endless benefits that yoga brings into my life. That doesn’t mean that I always have had time for yoga, but that I’ve learnt from experience that when I miss it out from my daily routine, I feel less energised, less grounded, and less able to focus on the important things in my life. I also know that it is during my busiest days that I need yoga the most. When I am dashing from meeting to meeting, my mind is working at full speed trying to keep up. This can sometimes lead to my emotional energy being drained, which can affect my physical energy.
TAKE TEN MINUTES
On a busy day, taking time between obligations to flow through a simple yoga routine helps to refresh your mindset and recharge yourself physically. Pausing for just ten minutes of yoga is a practical way to enjoy a moment of peace. Additionally, following your yoga session with a short period of meditative practice can go a long way to enhancing these feelings, and allow you to truly reflect on the events of each day. Doing so will help you to process and release any negativity that has taken place, leaving you ready to face the next day with a fresh attitude and clear mind. Even the busiest amongst us have ten spare minutes to devote to feeling better each day.
THE SCIENCE OF RELAXATION
The parasympathetic nervous system is largely responsible for how calm and relaxed we feel. When you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, your heart rate will start to decrease and your breathing becomes calmer. Also, blood is sent to the organs to aid with their function, and the body enters a state of relaxation. Yoga helps us to slow down, create a sense of peace, and activates this rest and digest nervous system. This puts your body and your mind in a much better state to maintain calm, and to deal with any stresses that we have to navigate throughout the day.
RELAXED VS CHAOTIC
A chaotic state is more likely to manifest when I haven’t made time for myself during each day – such as with a yoga session, regardless of how long or short this session is. When I make the time to practice yoga daily, I feel happier, healthier, and also as though I’ve done something just for myself – which is a simple but effective form of self-care. The way in which we live our lives often means that we are not living in the moment. We are worried about the past and stressed out about the future. When we focus on what is happening in the here and now, instead of situations and circumstances beyond our control, then we are better able to stay present and to live a life that isn’t ruled by stress.
BENEFITS TO THE BODY
Studies have shown us that practising yoga regularly can really help to give your digestion a boost. When we are stressed out and struggling to relax, our digestive system takes a hit, and this can leave you feeling sluggish, bloated, and without the energy to be your best self. Some great yoga poses for soothing your digestion and beating the bloat are Downward Facing Dog, Bow Pose, Bridge Pose, and Cobra Pose. If you are still feeling bloated an hour or so after eating, then take a short break from your day to do one or more of these poses for between one and two minutes. You’ll soon feel the benefit. Embracing a regular yoga practice is also a great way to enjoy better sleep, as your mind is more relaxed and your body has spent some time being physically active and challenged.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Still think that you don’t have time to practice yoga every day? Try these tips.
- You can practice these yoga poses in the bed in the morning. Spend five minutes flowing through some basics, such as Child’s Pose, Fish Pose, and Legs Up The Wall Pose.
- Set your alarm ten minutes earlier and hit the mat for ten minutes before you start your day.
- Take out your diary right now and schedule in at least three ten minute slots over the next week when you will take time for yoga.
- Get a membership to an online yoga class, so that even if you don’t have time to get to a class you can still learn at home.
- Create a space in your home that is purely for practising yoga. This will serve as a reminder and mean you never have to waste time setting up a space each day.