Life is busy isn’t it? Even though yoga, and particularly Yin yoga, bids us to slow down, work and school schedules, housework, and family responsibilities simply don’t stop. Fitting in yoga is often a trade-off (personally I’m trading in housework).
It might mean giving up TV (which isn’t really a bad thing—I barely watch any), swapping an hour’s sleep for some stretches and meditation, or spending a Sunday afternoon preparing meals so you can fit in a couple of weeknight classes and still get the family fed.
Unless you’re on a yoga retreat or living in a monastery, yoga is always going to be a physical practice you fit in around responsibilities, a mental attitude you try to maintain so that stress doesn’t crowd out your calm awareness, and a spiritual peace so often elusive, yet so worth seeking.
Here are some tips to fit yoga into a busy schedule, as well as more mindfulness and peace.
1. Change your attitude.
Don’t think of fitting in yoga, think of living yoga. It doesn’t always have to be on the mat, just in the moment (and then the next moment, and the next, and so on).
2. Do yoga in your breath.
You don’t stop breathing, so there’s no reason to stop yoga. Conscious breathing, at any time and in any situation, will remind you of the sensation you’ve experienced when you were deep into a yoga pose or blissful in meditation, whether breathing in love, or breathing out pain.
We take so many breaths, yet remember so few. All we have to do is remember (and give thanks).
3. Always be a mountain.
Your posture (and quite possibly your mother) will thank you for standing tall and straight, shoulders back (and down)—don’t slouch!
Engage your Mula Bandha and your partner may thank you for an improved sex life (with bonus benefits for childbirth and continence). Tadasana is truly standing proud like a yogi. And you can do it anywhere—make the most of the queue at the checkout.
4. Eagle-wrap your legs.
I’ve struggled with eagle-wrapping in Garurasana, so I wrap my legs when sitting on the sofa and it also works if you slide slightly forward sitting at the table. Supervise the kid’s homework, read a book, check social media (if you must), or just relax while you wrap.
5. Do yoga in the shower.
Try to stand relaxed in Tadasana with your back to the shower rose. Squeeze your shoulder blades in and down, opening your chest, and feel the water cascading down from the back of your heart like a waterfall.
Fold into Uttanasana and let the water run over your sacral spine or face the water, letting the jets massage your heart space. It all feels great, although it doesn’t make for short showers.
6. Do yoga while hanging out the washing.
If you hang out clothes on a line you’ll naturally be stretching up—try incorporating some Crescent Lunge combinations with arms upstretched, and balance them with some Forward Folds for compression.
7. Try Yin yoga.
While all yoga classes can have a meditative quality,Yin yoga, with its long-held postures, is really an entire class of meditation with the bonus of getting into your body.
8. Do yoga with your kids.
If you’re a parent, you can fit your own practice in while you teach your children.
Granted, the practice is not going to be the same, and it may even be a bit frustrating, but your children’s playful attitude is bound to give you something you are unlikely to find in an adult class—childlike fun and joy for a start.
9. Practice mindfulness.
Most people know that we can be mindful at any time and regardless of how long we pause. Even if you can’t stop, all you have to do is BE mindful while you DO anything (and everything).
10. Choose yourself.
As busy parents, as busy people, we make (too many) choices every day about how we spend our time and energy and we too seldom choose ourselves.It only makes sense to prioritise what makes us better parents and better people.
Do you constantly struggle to make time for yoga? What other ways are you able to get your asana, your inner peace, or your mindfulmeditation on during hectic periods in your life? Let me know in the comments!
Image credit: Leanne Handreck Photography / Kathy Kruger