Yoga is awesome, and the world agrees. Not only does it do much good to the body - increases flexibility, muscle strength and tone, promotes better posture, gives energy and helps maintain healthy metabolism for weight loss - it also helps keep those of us who manage to practice it regularly, sane. Yoga regulates our notion of stress and anxiety by slowing down our breathing and heart rate and puts a stop to our mind jabber, enabling us to finally relax. It has been proven that regular practice positively affects how we deal with stress, helps with issues of anxiety and insomnia and can protect us from depression.
All good in theory, but how can I keep my home yoga practice alive and kicking even when I feel I have no time, no motivation or am just plain simple too tired? Here are some first-hand tips that helped me overcome my inner procrastinator:
1. Have your mat unrolled (stretched) on the floor where you can see it
I always keep my mat on the same spot right next to my bed. It is the first thing I see and feel under my feet when I roll out of bed in the morning. Its bright and happy colors fill me up with energy and immediately pull me into some easy asanas. I have a few different mats at home and I change the one placed in front of my bed from time to time so that I don’t get too used to the sight of it. You know how it goes - new gear, new motivation!
2. Watch video yoga classes
There are plenty of good yoga classes to be found online. The easiest (and cheapest) way is to search for a suitable one on Youtube. I am a big fan of Tara Stiles, so her videos are the ones I swear by. But there are no rules here - just pick whatever works for you and the style of yoga you are practicing. Video classes will bring a fresh breeze to your routine, making it more fun and challenging.
3. Set a clear goal
By setting a goal I am by no means implying you should have a crazy objective of mastering some of the hardest yoga poses. Your goal can be totally modest - it can simply be that you want to include 15 minutes of yoga to your mornings. Write it down as it will make your intention more solid.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Sure, it’s great to practice everyday and it would be awesome if we had more than 15 minutes every day to devote entirely to ourselves. But sometimes our day really ends late in the evening or we just plain and simple need those extra minutes of sleep in the morning. Don’t beat yourself up if you leave out your daily practice from time to time. The most important is that you learn to listen to your body and to respect the signals it sends. Sure, yoga is beneficial on so many levels, but sometimes all your body needs is some quality sleep and forcing yourself in all those asanas when you are not really feeling it could actually do more harm than good.
5. Set an intention
This simple suggestion ensures that you’ll use your time — no matter how short — constructively. You can focus on a specific part of the body, choose to work on a specific practice or pose, or practice noticing (and letting go of) any emotions that arise — without judgment.
It really is that simple. Making time for mindful, caring and relaxing me-time is the best you can do for your overall health and well-being every day. We at Melon & Lime are giving our best to ensure you get the most out of every practice on the mat. Check out our website, learn more about us or join our mailing list to receive a juicy dose of news from Melon & Lime! We <3 you!