The yoga lifestyle is not confined to just one type of yogi. There are the hardcore, do yoga everyday type, and then there are those who always talk about wanting to do it, but don't feel like they can make it work.
If you're one of those who wants to see what all these yogi people are talking about, but don't have the time or the will to commit to a studio or routine, then you've come to the right place. You don't need to take out hours out of your day sweating on a yoga mat to experience the blessings of yoga; you can actually do it at home, at work or even on your commute!
If you ask three different yogis what exactly yoga is, you'll likely receive three different answers. It doesn't help that there are over 14 different types of yoga to add to the confusion of defining it. In spite of all of this, there is one thing that all yogis can agree upon: yoga helps to unify the mind, body and breath. That being said, here are some easy ways to incorporate some aspects of yoga into your everyday life.
I’m sure many of you start the morning off by hitting the snooze button as many times as you can before getting out of bed and hobbling to the bathroom to pee. By incorporating some yoga and meditational breathing into your morning routine, you can wake up energized and limber before you even get out of bed!
One simple way for you to become more in-tune with your badass, zen self is to manipulate your breath. Start your day by sitting upright in your bed and taking deep long breaths. You can put one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart to feel the breath moving through you. Once you practice this more, you can try holding your breath for counts of four to 15 after inhaling. While doing this, keep a clear mind, and think of at least three things you are grateful for. It could be anything from your blender to the love of your mother. This brings an influx of good energy to your body and leaves you ready to take on the day with a clear, positive outlook.
Another breathing tip is to close your eyes and smile while you are breathing deeply. Even if you do not feel like smiling, and it’s storming outside, and you’re absolutely dreading the upcoming day, smile anyway! Change your physical state to spark a change in your mental state.
After you’ve mentally prepared yourself you can now loosen up those stiff joints that have been dormant the whole night. Here’s a five minute routine you can do every morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wx_S6wiqOI
Most of the time, it’s easy to forget about your posture when you’re riding to work or sitting at your desk. However, it’s even easier to realign your posture with some simple stretches throughout the day. There is a new form of yoga called Chair Yoga—yes, it’s a thing— and it caters to the desk-job employee.
The first stretch is called Cat Cow Pose. It’s both a breathing exercise and a back stretch. Arch your back and stretch out your stomach while inhaling. Then exhale, arch your back over your stomach and suck in your naval. Make sure to place your hands lightly on your knee to anchor yourself while stretching. These moves improve your posture, stretch the hips, abdomen and back, massage internal organs and relieve stress.
It is also important to stretch out your neck and shoulders. Make sure to keep your back straight and do these whenever you notice yourself slouching.
Let’s not forget about the lower body! These moves may not be as inconspicuous as the arm stretches, but that doesn’t make stretching the lower body any less important. Yoga is all about moving the body and using it the way it was meant to be used. It is vital to stretch your hips and hamstrings throughout the day.
Be sure to hold each pose for at least three deep breaths.
Stretching before going to sleep is just as important as stretching right after you wake up, except the goal is the exact opposite. Doing a yoga sequence before bed can help your body and mind relax, and you will be lulled into a deep, blissful sleep.
Yoga is also about not taking things too seriously. So, try to have some fun with all your stretching and breathing exercises. Begin your bedtime routine with a silly de-stressing activity. Sit upright in your bed and lift your hands up while you inhale deeply. Then exhale quickly and make a silly noise and drop your hands. Do this a couple times to make yourself laugh and let go of all the frustrations from the day.
Try this quick sequence of poses to help you get to a deep sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP5j5U-h-jM
This is just a rough outline of what and when you could incorporate yoga into your daily life. Any of the techniques can cross over, though, whenever you feel yourself slipping into a bad mood or an unhealthy position. Stay grateful, and remember to breathe.
- Tags: Lifestyle