I’ve heard before. You’ve heard it before. Shoot, I’ve said it before. “I don’t have time for yoga.” NOW I know this is true. There is always time for yoga. Or perhaps you might have thought, “I don’t know how to do yoga.” Well, you’re in for a treat. And it doesn’t cost anything….just a little well-spent time.
But before I learned what yoga could be, I probably would have felt the same way. “If I can’t get to yoga class or get on my mat, then it’s not yoga.” Again, not true. The yoga asana (postures) are just one way to “do” your yoga. But if we consider yoga to be mindfulness, to be breath awareness, to be body movement awareness—basically “awarefullness,” then we can see that yoga can be done anywhere, anytime. I like to think of it as “living your yoga,” rather than “doing your yoga.”
So here are your 5 ways to get your “Yoga On-the-Go” so you can start living your yoga.
- Breathing: There is nothing like slow, conscious breaths to take you out of your perseveration about past and future and bring you back to the present moment. Your mind cannot be thinking about other things if you are focusing on your breath. Breathing in: 1-2-3-4. Breathing out: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Or 3:6 or 2:4 if a ratio of 4:8 is too constricting or produces anxiety. No point in that. Or perhaps focusing on phrases or mantras helps you. Breathing In. Breathing Out. And yes, this is yoga. See a take-home handout on practicing this breath awareness HERE.
- Posture Check: This gets into that body awareness stuff. You can snap out of your insistent thoughts by becoming aware of your body posture in the here and now. How are you holding yourself right now? Try this the next time you’re standing in line at the grocery store or waiting for your gas to fill: become aware of your feet. Are you balanced on both feet equally? Are you more into your toes, or heels? And if not, what would you have to do to become balanced side to side, front to back? Try it again and again in different locations, different times. Is there a trend? A habit? Until we have awareness, we can’t make changes. And yes, this too is yoga. See a take-home handout for Mountain Posture HERE.
- Movement Breaks: Ok, I know I said yoga wasn’t all about postures (asana), but there is a lot to be said about taking a break to move, stretch and breath. And you don’t need a mat for these. The other reason I love these is that they are grounding–meaning they take you closer to the ground physically and mentally. So less in our heady space, or so called monkey mind. And yes another reason why I love these is that they help you hone in on using your diaphragm to breath. It’s a little difficult to utilize those neck and chest muscles to breath when you’re in these positions, which is a good thing, by the way, if you’re tendency is to breath more shallowly. So, here they are: Child’s Pose (or Wisdom Pose) + varieties AND Downward Dog at the desk, table, chair etc. Spend 3-5 breaths in each position at least every 1-2 hours to revive and recharge to continue your work. Yep, these are poses, so they are certainly yoga.
- Lifestyle: The practice of Yoga does not only focus on physical postures (asana) to improve the body, but encompasses all aspects of our lives. C.E., Patanjali who is considered the father of Modern Yoga compiled 195 aphorisms which are called the Yoga Sutra. In the Yoga Sutra, he described the eight aspects of a Yogic Lifestyle and called it the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The limbs are practical guides to a person’s personal development to achieve the harmony of the mind, the body and the spirit. Yamas: Your attitude towards others and the world around you. Niyamas: How you treat yourself and your attitude towards yourself. These are just some of the examples of how you can start to live your yoga. Find more ways to “live your yoga” on-the-go in this HANDOUT. (Spoiler: asana and breathing are included in here too). This is no doubt a way to practice your yoga on-the-go.
So, now, no excuses. You can practice yoga anywhere, anytime. You don’t need expensive yoga pants, or that crispy (stinky) new mat. You don’t need a yoga studio or the perfect quiet setting. You can take it on the plane or in a train. Try it in the car or when your home is far. It’s there for you at your job or in a mob. Experience it while waiting in line and perhaps before you dine. Yes, yoga is accessible to everyone, everywhere. Take it away folks!
I welcome your feedback and if you find this information helpful, please share with your colleagues and your friends. I would love to hear or see how you’re changing your habits to get more “Yoga On-the-Go.” If you need more individual attention and guidance, Contact Tianna to see how she can help you bring yoga into your daily life. We’re all beginners and believe me, yoga is accessible to you.
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