It is a sad fact of reality that we are all far busier than we would like to be. Finding time between work, internships, family, friends, and other obligations to perform even necessary mundane tasks such as going grocery shopping can sometimes be difficult amidst our ever-hectic schedules. Additional time at the gym or in the yoga studio can be impossible for lots of us. These facets of self-care and well-being are just as important as the other responsibilities in our lives, though they are too often neglected due to other things being prioritized.
Finding little ways to work these healthy exercises, such as yoga practices, back into your daily routine without a daily trip to the gym or the studio, is a sure-fire way to get you back on the horse and on the road to a healthier, happier, more present lifestyle.
Here are some of our best tips and tricks to working yoga into your daily routine:
The best part about yoga is that you’ve already got all the equipment you need with you - your body. Sure yoga mats and rollers can be helpful with certain poses when you’ve got time for them, but for the purposes of quick exercises between your daily tasks, your body will suffice.
It becomes really easy for us to brush off little tasks, like these, as unimportant when we are overwhelmed by the rest of our lives. It is this defeating attitude, however, that leads to compounding stress and anxiety - which only make the problems worse. So the first step is simple: Get up and do it!
We are more likely to do things when we think of them as rewards, or if we know that we will be rewarded for doing them. Take this mindset when considering doing your poses throughout the day. If you values breaks from your work to clear your mind, reward yourself with a few poses after finishing a particularly difficult task at work or take the first few minutes of your shift to stretch and be mindful before starting your day.
If your poses are starting to feel like just another chore on your to-do list, then be sure to reward yourself for ticking them off with a healthy snack or a fun leisure break from work. Plenty of people hate the idea of going to the gym, but love the rewards they get out of their efforts. Don’t let a negative mindset influence your health and well-being.
Literally! One of the best ways to start working yoga into your daily routine is to reach out and touch your toes in ten-second intervals as many times as you can throughout the day. Even simple stretches like this will open you up and give you time and space to listen to your body and feel more grounded.
There are over three-hundred yoga poses, and while it is possible that not all of them will be practical enough for you to perform in the workplace, many of them are simple enough to perform anywhere.
Finding open space where you can perform your poses peacefully and correctly is the first step. Clear out room in front of your desk, in a spare room, or even outside, weather permitting, to give yourself ample space. Try to keep these spaces quiet and calm while practicing to clear your mind and ground your body.
If you’re new to yoga and still easing into the flow, check out these easy beginner poses from DoYouYoga.
Making a commitment to practicing yoga (and anything else) frequently and consistently is a fantastic way to form a good habit. While going to the studio every day just may not be possible, try to commit yourself to one yoga class a week.
These classes will help you to practice in a safe and positive environment while also learning new poses and perfecting the ones you already know. Public yoga classes are also a great way to develop a community of like-minded peers!
Invite your other co-workers out to join you for these weekly classes! Making yoga communal in a structured setting can lead to regular practice in the workplace as well. Having a small group to attend these classes with will also help to keep you all accountable for your own health and well-being.
At work, on the bus, at dinner, focusing on your posture can be a great way to practice yoga principles throughout your day without deviating from the other tasks you’ve got to perform. Maintaining a straight posture throughout the day will keep you mindful of your body.
If your job keeps you sedentary throughout the day, it is important that you get up and walk around as often as possible. Set an alarm or a reminder for yourself to get you up and moving every twenty minutes or so.
If your job involves more walking and standing than sitting, yogic practices throughout the day can help to direct your attention and awareness to your body’s alignment and weight distribution throughout the day.
Back home after a day at the office? Taking to relax and unwind is important for your overall well-being, but if you recognize that you have not been able to make time or space throughout the day to practice your yogic exercises, be sure to make some now.
If you’re planning to spend the night on the couch watching television, be sure to take advantage of commercial breaks. Have whatever equipment you need ready and out. When the commercials come on, hop up and start working on your poses. These short intervals are perfect for light practice and will keep you from zoning out all night.
Find other periodic breaks like this in your day to take advantage of. Reading a book? Stop after each chapter and do a few stretches. Doing laundry? Pose between loads! Or take some of your tv time and dedicate it to following along with one of hundreds of yoga tutorials on Youtube - like this on from Yoga with Adriene.
Yoga isn’t just about the physical aspects of taking care of your body. Be sure to take time throughout your day to practice mindfulness at work and at home. This means practicing patience with people who might make you frustrated or upset in one way or another, and treating others the way you would want to be treated.
Be self-aware of your actions, the good and the bad, and adjust accordingly. Practice compassion in trying moments, and determination to battle moments of self-doubt.
Work is beyond stressful at times. Taking these moments to remember to breath, relax, and evaluate before reacting will help to keep tensions low in the workplace and keep work a generally peaceful experience.
Finally, be sure to eat mindfully throughout the day. Being centered and finding peace in the mind and the body will become awfully difficult if your walking around with a stomach ache from a sugar stocked breakfast or lunch. Recognizing which foods disagree with you can help to prevent hangry outbursts. Also be sure to not overeat at mealtimes, a practice that can lead to feelings of bloating and exhaustion.
If your focus is stolen by feelings of discomfort, it becomes impossible for you to reach a state of comfort through mindful practices and can sap motivation to practice poses throughout the day.
Curious about better ways to practice mindful eating? Check out this article from Harvard Health!
While having a set routine is important, it is also vital that we allow ourselves to deviate based on the needs of our bodies, minds, and spirits. We are busy beings with busy bodies - prioritizing time for mindfulness is important to achieve a state of genuine peace.
Every moment in your day is a moment to incorporate yogic practices into your routine- or; be it through general mindfulness, your posture, or by making time and space to practice your poses. The first and most important step is just to do it - start today.