Five ways to fit yoga into your schedule
Forever finding that you don’t have room in your week for a good stretching session? Too busy to meditate or be mindful? Here are some tried and tested ways to make time for yoga in your daily life and feel the benefits it brings.
1. Plan your yoga time
When you’re finding it hard to juggle things, you need to regain control of your diary. It’s important for you to block off time for yourself so that you feel well physically, mentally and emotionally. It’ll make it easier for you to go about your week positively, to feel satisfied and to help others.
At the start of the week, look at your schedule for the next seven days and work out when you have pockets of time. See if any of the gaps coincide with yoga classes at your local studio, and, if they do, book yourself onto them. If you find that there aren’t any classes when you have free time, schedule in some home yoga instead.
Wherever you decide to practise, write ‘yoga’ in pen in your diary for that timeslot and tell yourself it is as important a commitment as turning up to work. Writing it down will reinforce the intention, make it more likely for you to do it and stop you filling the time with something else.
2. Practise yoga with a friend
We’re more likely to do something if we tell someone about our intentions. We’re even more likely to see an intention through if we actually involve someone else in the opportunity.
Why not invite a friend to your yoga practise? You’ll both be able to reap the rewards of the session and have quality time together. By being accountable to another person, especially someone you care about, you’ll want to show up to the mat for them, as well as yourself.
3. Try different types of yoga to suit you
Not only will trying a different type of yoga give you the chance to stretch, move and breathe in new ways, it’ll also give you something to be excited about. While there is a lot to be said for routine and consistency, playing around with your norm can be liberating and motivating.
Our bodies are always changing, as are our mental and emotional needs, so having a variety of yoga types that you can practise interchangeably to suit your mood and muscles is a handy resource.
It’s always worth booking onto a taught class if you’re trying a new style. You get the benefit of having a qualified yoga teacher talk you through postures and sequences, making small tweaks to your positioning if need be, and you have room to ask related questions.
4. Incorporate yoga into everyday activities
In any typical day, the average adult has a fair amount of idle time. Just think about the time we might spend doing nothing: waiting for the kettle to boil, sitting on public transport, queueing at the supermarket, being put on hold on a call, scrolling through social media posts. It really adds up.
The good thing is that this empty time is yours to fill. Next time you find yourself hanging around for someone who’s running late, stand in mountain pose to keep your alignment in check and to stay grounded. When you’re on your lunch break, take five minutes to focus on your breathing, have a mindful moment with a body scan or stretch out your shoulders after being hunched over your desk. It’s surprising how much you can benefit from repurposing empty time with little bits of yoga.
5. Drop in to a yoga class before or after work
For some, the thought of coming home from a long day at work then heading out again to go to a class is enough to put them off bothering. That’s understandable, because turning up requires oomph and self-motivation, but it also means that you’re not letting yourself unwind, be present and have ‘me’ time on the mat.
If you know that you struggle with this, tag your yoga onto the front or back of something else that takes you out of the house. That way, it won’t feel like two trips and two efforts; it’ll just be one. It could be first thing before work, after dropping the children off at school, on the way home from work or before you do the weekly shop. There will be a time that works for you and your yoga; it may just take some experimenting, which is fun!
Yoga is about strength, flexibility and being present. One of the best ways to let yoga into your life is to allow yourself the same things – strength in your intentions, flexibility with your time and being present with yourself.
See you on the mat!