Finding your centre in the middle of a hectic workweek isn’t always the easiest feat, but it’s during these times of high-stress that practicing yoga is that much more important!
Yoga can increase your energy and help you focus, all while acting as the perfect form of stress release. But with a packed schedule, how exactly do you find the time to do it? Here are eight easy ways to incorporate yoga into your daily routine:
BLOCK OUT 10 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY — EVERY DAY.
Setting aside time to do yoga doesn’t necessary have to mean attending a daily class—it’s often as simple as waking up 10 minutes earlier or going to bed 10 minutes later. Practicing first thing in the morning means higher energy levels and fewer distractions. However, others will find that a 10-minute period at lunchtime or in the evening is the perfect way to release some of the stress that gets accumulated during the day. Either way, all it takes is 10 minutes. Anything beyond that? Consider that a bonus.
DOWNLOAD A YOGA APP OR BOOKMARK YOUR FAVOURITE ROUTINES ON YOUTUBE.
Many yoga studios offer flexible schedules designed for busy lives. But if you don’t have quite enough time to make it into the studio, you can still run your own class with an online program that allows you to start—and stop—on your own schedule.
SIGN UP FOR A YOGA CHALLENGE ON INSTAGRAM.
Competitions and challenges are great ways to stay motivated and to find a community of like-minded yogis. You’ll be surprised how much more accountable you are when expected to post a pose a day!
TURN SOCIALIZATION TIME INTO YOGA TIME.
We tend to meet up with our friends for dinner or a drink, but exercising is also a great way to bond with loved ones. Why not make a date with a friend for a weekly yoga class, or even consider hosting a yoga party? You can still have a glass of wine afterwards—or stop by our café for a healthy meal.
ALWAYS BE PREPARED.
One of the best things about yoga is that there’s no need for fancy equipment. And yet, we’ve all been there; ready to attend a class post-work, only to realize that we forgot our mat or change of clothes at home. Don’t let forgetting your gear hold you back. Instead, double-up. Keep an extra mat at the office or in your car so you’ll always be prepared. You may even be able to squeeze in an extra class when your afternoon meeting gets cancelled last-minute.
PRACTICE WHILE YOU’RE WATCHING TV.
While you should ideally set aside time to practice when you can focus on your breathing and meditation, there’s no shame in working on your balance and strength while watching the latest episode of the Mindy Project. No judgment here.
STRETCH AT YOUR DESK.
There are a range of poses you can do to stretch your upper body while seated in your office chair, from cow face pose, to swaying palm tree, to seated cat cow. As you’re doing so, focus on taking deep yogic breaths.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LONG COMMUTES.
Regardless of whether you have to spend time on the subway or caught in gridlocked traffic every day, commuting is primetime for releasing tension. Systematically work through your muscle groups, focusing on tensing and then relaxing each area of your body. Try some neck rotations or shoulder rolls. You can even try yoga walking—while on route to your destination, rotate your shoulders and spine, and repeat your mantras as the soles of your shoes connect to the ground.