If you’re not practicing yoga because you’re too busy and think you don’t have time, remember that yoga is flexible and simple enough to practice anytime and anywhere. Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated:
1 – Be flexible
Flexibility isn’t just about downward dog and backbends — it’s about being open with how you define your “me” time.
If you tell yourself that 6:30 p.m. is the only time you can get on the mat, then you are not taking into account life’s ups and downs and that there are very few things we control in life.
When you are rigid on when you practice you set yourself up to fail to have a consistent practice.
2 – Focus on “how much” instead of “when”
It doesn’t matter when you practice — just that you do practice.
Put aside a set AMOUNT of time for your practice, as opposed to a set TIME for the amount of yoga. Learn to be happy with yoga as a part of your day as opposed to a set time of day.
Of course, if there is a time that works for you then guard it, show up and shine on your mat.
If getting on your mat just doesn’t work one day, don’t let it get you down. Be flexible and take advantage of your next earliest opportunity.
3 – Don’t wait for a peaceful moment — make your own
Sometimes things are so hectic and busy.
We keep telling ourselves “when I get a few minutes of peace I will roll out my mat.” Don’t fall into this type of thinking when it comes to your yoga practice and anything else that is important to you.
This kind of thinking will keep you so focused on checking off your to-do list you’ll forget to spend time on your wellbeing. It is easy to take it so far as to forget to spend time with family and friends and on your faith.
Don’t wait for a few moments of peace.
Make the decision to put down the checklist…take a few deep breaths…and understand that rolling out your mat is what will give you those few moments of peace.
4 – Keep your yoga mat close by
Place your yoga mat in strategic places, where it’s easy to pull out when need to.
Here are a few ideas to start you off:
- In your car
- At your workspace
- With a friend you visit often
- Next to your bed (talk about setting up for better sleep or start to the morning)
- In front of the television
- In your bathroom within easy reach before a hot bath or shower
The more you see it, and have it close by, the more likely you are to use it.
5 – Keep it Simple
Your practice can be as simple as you allow it to be.
Having a consistent yoga practice doesn’t mean you HAVE TO practice on a yoga mat. Nor does it mean going through an entire sequence similar to what you may do in your local yoga studio’s yoga class.
Sometimes all you have time for — and all you need — is a few minutes in child’s pose, a few breaths in an inversion, such as bridge, wheel or crow.
Have a few more minutes?
Cycle a few times through Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B on each side of your body.
Or upward facing dog to downward facing dog and reverse (what Pino demonstrate this below).
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Take as much or as little as you need for your practice when you can.
Just focus on what you need from that practice session and not trying to keep up with an ideal routine.
You will be thankful for it.
6 – Be sensitive to your energy levels
There are many opportunities in the day we just don’t take advantage of.
We know we could wake up a few minutes earlier in the morning or find time right before bed.
It’s simply hard to take advantage of opportunities to practice, let alone find time for it, when we our mental, physical and emotional reserves are low. This is when excuses come fast and hit hardest.
Trying to practice at times counter to your body’s rhythm makes it harder to be successful.
If you’re a morning person look for opportunities to visit your mat in the morning; if your energy levels are highest later in the day then afternoon or evening could make better sense.
7 – Be open to asking for help
We think we can do it all but many times this is not true, or worse, harmful to yourself.
You need to be open to letting others help with, or even take on, some of your tasks or responsibilities.
Remember, burnout is real and stress is a killer!
How much you can do by yourself doesn’t dictate your worth. As our word gets smaller working with others is more valuable.
The best way to make time for your practice, and what matters most to you, is to
- Be comfortable with no – Don’t take on more than you can reasonably handle. When you are overburdened you hurt yourself, you can’t give your best and exceed, much less meet, expectations.
- Ask others for help – The more hands employed can help you get through your to-do list quicker. Ask Family to pitch in more at home or run errands. Delegate more at work and be more comfortable with others not doing everything the way you would have done it.
Those around you will likely respect you more if you know your limits, delegate, work with others, or automate your tasks.
Be open to asking for help if you are ever to find time to spend with the people most important to you and on activities you enjoy and that replenish you.
8 – Cut down on distractions
We manage more of our lives online and most things on the web are designed to capture your attention and spend your time.
The same goes for the electronic devices, gadgets, and apps we interact with everyday.
It’s so easy to lose hours binging on a Netflix show, reading updates from friends and family on social media or searching for sports updates and celebrity gossip online.
Make sure that you stay focused on the task at hand, online or offline, and avoid wasting precious time on instantly forgettable activities.
When you make time — whether it’s 5 minutes or 50 minutes — you’ll clear your mind and feel better using that time on your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Research shows writing our intentions down makes us more likely to follow through. Let me know below which tip you committed to putting into practice.