We're pretty sure this isn't the first time you'll be hearing this, but we will say it anyway: Yoga is more than just a fitness routine, it's a meditative and spiritual practice, and it is a lifestyle. If you want to have a better understanding of yoga and the breadth of its practice, the best way to do this is to sign up for a yoga for beginners class. Yogis who teach yoga for beginners will tell you what you need to know about this age-old Indian practice, including how you can practice and make use of yoga in daily life.
Harmony of Mind, Body, and Soul
As you probably know, or have read, yoga is as physical as it is mental and spiritual. The benefits you will get from practicing even just yoga for beginners cover all areas of our being: the mind, body, and soul. Practicing yoga in daily life will help you find and achieve harmony in these three aspects of being by showing you how these elements are all interconnected and are what completes an individual's sense of being.
You may already know of the physical benefits of yoga, such as improved posture, increased lung capacity, flexibility, and increased strength in the joints and muscles. But while you do various asanas to enjoy these benefits, you are also simultaneously learning to focus on your breathing and find your inner core. One of the philosophies of yoga is that strength, focus, and spirituality are dependent on the energy that flows within your body and through your core. Once you are able to learn and master these things about your body and your being, you will learn to achieve harmony in your mind, body, and soul.
Yoga in Daily Life: the Swamiji System
Swamiji (also known as Swami Maheshwarananda or Mangilal Gargis) is the name of the Indian yogi who founded Yoga in Daily Life. It is a holistic system that seeks to make individuals become better aware of, and connected to, themselves and their surroundings. This comprehensive system was developed with the help of psychologists, doctors, and therapists, so it doesn't just tackle the physical aspects of yoga – it is a deeply holistic system that affects the body, mind, consciousness, and soul.
The Yoga in Daily Life system is considered by many as "complete" in terms of yoga tradition, practice, and philosophies. It covers all the main yoga paths: Karma Yoga or the selfless way of acting, Bhakti Yoga or the path of devotion, Raja Yoga or the path of meditation and discipline, Hatha Yoga which involves doing techniques for purification, and Gyana Yoga or the path of knowledge and realization. To date, this holistic system is still being taught in schools and even being used in hospitals to aid in physical rehabilitation.
Recommended Morning Poses
Let's be honest, there will always be days when something will come up at home or at work that will disrupt your routine and demand more of your time. When this happens, you might not be able to do yoga in the hours or for a duration that you may have gotten used to. But just because you can't do a full-length yoga session doesn't mean you can't still have yoga in daily life.
Setting aside even just 10 or 15 minutes of your time, before you have breakfast and leave for work, will be enough to do yoga poses. Doing so will give you better concentration and focus for the day ahead and make it easier for you to manage whatever stresses you may have to deal with throughout the day. Yoga is not a demanding discipline, there are no equipment needed, and no strict hours or duration for practicing it. If you want to do yoga and have it as a part of your daily life, here are some poses you can do.
The Warrior Pose
This pose is one of the classic favorites taught at any yoga for beginners class, and practiced in just about any type of yoga class. There are three variations of this pose, and is more known for the physical benefits it offers to the chest, shoulders, neck, arms, back, legs, and ankles. When doing the Warrior pose, those who have just started doing yoga for beginners should be careful not to strain their calves in trying to keep their heels grounded. If it causes too much strain, you may lift your heels a little and raise it onto a folded towel.
Downward Facing Dog
This is one of the poses you always hear about; it's very popular because of the relative ease with which is can be done, and the benefits it has. Adding the Downward Facing Dog to your list of morning poses will give you that much needed stretch in your back, legs, and arms to start your day. It's very important in yoga to take your time and not rush through any poses, and the Downward Facing Dog is no exception. As you hold the pose in the bent over position, focus on your breathing and learn to relax your body.
Thunderbolt or Vajrasana
The Thunderbolt pose can be done easily and is really helpful in letting you meditate and get an inner sense of calm. To do the Thunderbolt or Vajrasana pose, simply sit on the mat with your legs underneath you such that your buttocks are resting on the heels of your feet. Keep your back straight, keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, and let your palms fall to your lap as you breathe in and out. Try to shut everything out and just focus on your breathing.
These are just three among the many poses you can do during those mornings when you are in a rush and don't have the time to go through longer, complete sessions of yoga. As we said, yoga is not just a physical practice, so finding even just a couple of minutes to do yoga in daily life will also contribute to your overall mental and spiritual health.