Yoga is a discipline of mind and body that enhances mental, spiritual and physical health. On 21st June each year, yogis across the world celebrate International Yoga Day, highlighting the physical and spiritual benefits that yoga brings. For many of us, however, finding the time to practise between work, family, friends and other commitments can be challenging.
For those with already congested diaries, for whom escaping on a yoga retreat is a pipe dream, here are three ways you can incorporate yoga into your daily life, and achieve greater balance, harmony and wellness without sacrificing too much of your precious free time!
Find 10 Minutes
Even with the most hectic schedules, most people can find 10 to 15 minutes for some self-care. If you’re struggling to find the time to practise yoga, analysing your daily routine will allow you to review your priorities and hopefully reveal opportunities for spending time on your own wellbeing.
Try incorporating yoga into your daily morning or evening routine to help you stick to this lifestyle change. This may mean switching off the TV for a while, putting down your phone, or even getting up 10 minutes earlier, but snatching short bursts of yoga each day can have amazing benefits for your physical and mental health.
Use Yoga to Relieve Stress
Did you know that yoga is a great stress buster? It stimulates the production of endorphins and dopamine, which lowers your pain response and helps you bounce back from a low mood. So next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed at work, try a little yoga. The best part is, you’ve already got all the equipment you need – your body – so you can practise while sitting at your desk! Basic exercises, such as neck rolls and the cat-cow stretch, will help to improve blood circulation and avoid the aches caused by sitting down all day, while taking deep breaths will help you relax body and mind when stressful situations arise.
The beauty of yoga goes far beyond simply taking care of your body. When yoga is practised correctly, the body and the mind come together in harmony, so as well as working on your stretches, take the time to practise meditation too. A great time for meditation and self-reflection is just before going to bed, as it can help you to let go of anything you’re holding onto from the day, putting both mind and body at ease.
If you’re unsure where to begin, try watching some guided meditation videos. We highly recommend the Gaia app, it’s full of guided yoga meditations and lots more to help get you started. Combine with some basic yoga stretches to loosen up muscle tension and help you sink into a peaceful night of deep sleep.
Hopefully these tips have shown that every moment in your day can benefit from yogic practices, and that it’s easier than you think to incorporate yoga into your routine. Adding some of these simple steps into your schedule will gradually make yoga a natural addition to your lifestyle. Stick with it and you really will reap the wonderful benefits of being a yogi.
Namaste, and good luck!
Love Jane x