“I’m too busy to go to a yoga class....I don’t have time to meditate.” Excuses like these are just your mind’s way of resisting, and it might be resisting the exact thing that you need the most. Most of us feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get in a good yoga practice and do all the other things we need to get done, myself included. Let’s face it, if you have time to scroll through your Facebook news feed once a day, you have time for yoga...and really, you don’t even have to give up that quality time with Facebook to do it!
I am certainly not the type of teacher that goes to a yoga class every day. Sometimes I wish I were, but I’m not. That being said, I do practice my yoga every single day. It might not always be in the form of asana or meditation, but it is always there.
When I don’t have time to go to a class, sometimes I just practice asana in my living room. When I don’t have the time to spend an hour on the mat, sometimes I just sit and meditate for a few minutes. When I don’t have an extra minute to meditate, sometimes I’ll practice my pranayama while I’m in the car waiting at a red light. If I hit all the greens on my way to work, just spending time snuggling with my husband on the couch is a yoga practice in itself.
Bottom line, you don’t need to go to class everyday to make yoga a daily practice. For those of you who are short on free time, here’s a few ways you might fit it in:
1. Daily Sun Salutations. This flowing sequence can easily be modified to make it most beneficial for your body - you can slow it down if you are feeling stiffer and less flexible, or you can make it a vinyasa style flow to add some warmth to the body. Either way, sun salutations are a very basic sequence that can be done once through in less than five minutes. Try it before you get dressed for work in the morning.
2. Do a Walking Meditation. Maybe you walk your dogs, or you walk to work, or you just like to go for a walk to get some exercise. Leave your phone at home (or in your pocket...but don’t touch it!) and focus on the way your feet feel when they hit the earth. What does the air smell like? What does it feel like? Remain focused on all the little things that happen all around you. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting still for extended periods of time, it just means try your best to be present in whatever you are doing.
3. Breathe. Prana-whaaat?? You don’t always need to be on your mat to practice pranayama. The quickest and easiest way to bring your focus to your breath is just to repeat to yourself “inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale”. It might sound silly, but it’s something you can do in your car while sitting at a stoplight, or while you’re standing in line at the grocery store.
4. Be love. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of love and devotion. Believe it or not, spending time with your significant other, or your children, your parents, or your friends, is a form of yoga practice. The trick is to be fully engaged. No texting, no phone calls, no working. Just quality time with your loved ones. It can be an entire day spent doing something fun, or it can be as short as a quick kiss on the cheek. Just make sure to put 100% of yourself into it.
At the end of the day, you simply have to make yoga a priority in your day. It’s not always asana that you need the most, sometimes it’s just time to spend with others. If you have an extra minute in your day, you have time for it. So, be fully present and just enjoy.
Becca Kocher is an engineer turned yoga teacher who blends her experience in engineering with her yoga practice to create a therapeutic yoga experience that offers both spiritual and physical alignment.
Website: Becca Kocher Yoga
Facebook: Becca Kocher Yoga