Michelle Lang shares tips on how to fit yoga into a busy schedule
Sometimes I feel like I want to retreat to a cave for a week and escape from the pressures and demands of modern life (I have literally retreated to a cave before - I'd highly recommend it! )
We have such busy schedules, constantly plugged into electronic devices, social media, working full time, looking after kids, doing housework and more. Do you ever feel like everyone wants a piece of you? Are you too busy looking after everyone else to fill your own cup? Self care has been a bit of a running theme from some of the wonderful contributors on our blog. It is an important issue! One of the biggest barriers that seems to get in the way of people doing this is being too busy. Is this the case? Or are we making excuses?
So you might be wondering how to fit yoga into your busy life? Here are 3 simple tips I'd love to share!
1. Create Space
All you need to practice is a mat and a few square feet around you. Find a quiet corner in your bedroom or living room where you won't be interrupted! If you have kids...try and set aside time to do it when they are in bed or at an activity. If you have a partner, ask them to hold the fort. Shut down the computer and turn off your phone. This is YOUR time and space to relax, free from interruption. Recognise that you are worthy of this. It is a necessity, not a luxury.
I practice in my tiny living room in my one bedroom flat and everything I need is there. I have my props, candles and essential oil diffuser to enhance my relaxation experience. I practice at my happiest here, in my pyjamas, hair scraped into a pony tail.
2. Dedicate Time
Ok, so I know some of you think yoga teachers float around in lululemon gear, hang out in hipster cafe's and teach nice classes in between and have ALL the time in the world. That would be lovely, but it is totally unrealistic.
We too have to juggle the same commitments as everyone else and carve out time for our self care. The question is how? There are a few ways to do this. Early morning works for me at the moment. I don't give myself a hard time about "how long" Sometimes I'll do 10 minutes, other times I flow for an hour. Pregnancy is challenging me physically at the moment and that's ok. Lately my practice has mostly involved lying around on props and meditating. Also be aware, that circumstances change and a time that consistently works for you may need to be altered at a later date.
If early morning doesn't work for you, consider other times of the day or evening that may work. Are there windows in the day where you watch TV or spend time on social media? Can you take a few minutes to do some yoga instead?
You can also get creative throughout the day! Take a break from your computer by doing some shoulder rolls or wrist stretches, be aware of how you are breathing when you are stuck in THAT traffic jam, Being aware of your posture when you are lifting your wee one or standing at the bus stop. The list could go on.
3. Attend a Class
If you attend a class at a yoga studio, you are guaranteed an experience where you will be free from interruption. It can also help you get into the routine of establishing a regular practice and there is nothing nicer than being guided through a session for an hour or so. Being part of a group of friendly, like minded individuals is also nice.
Alternatively, there are a lot of online resources and classes that you can tap into at home. However, I'd suggest that you do also attend a class with a teacher, to make sure that you are practicing correctly and safely.
Let me know how you get on!
Michelle Lang is co founder of Studio 70 and teaches Vinyasa Flow and Yin at the studio. She has practiced yoga for fifteen years and is in her 5th year of teaching yoga in the Southside of Glasgow. Michelle has a previous background of working in social care and is passionate about empowering others and making yoga accessible to everyone. In her spare time, Michelle likes chilling at home with her cats and partner Mick, who is also a yoga teacher!