Get Your Yoga Knickers On
I love Yoga, it’s my passion and I don’t know where I’d be without it, but if I’m honest it can be tricky to ensure a regular, consistent home practice. I’m a Yoga teacher, a mum of two and have just acquired a four-month old puppy – who knew that having a pup is like having a new-born all over again? (That’s a whole other blog). I get it, life is busy so I’d like to share with a few tips to help you weave some Yoga into your day, so that you can experience the benefits of this beautiful ancient practice.
Before we get started, why would you add Yoga into your already busy life?
From a physical perspective, practising Yoga improves posture, strength, tone and flexibility as well as breath capacity, while leaving you feeling calmer and clearer in your mind. Yoga gives you energy, helps you grow as a person, improves your well being and helps you to enjoy life more fully.
And its practical too…
One of the great advantages to a Yoga practice is that you need little to no equipment – just yourself and a mat. You can create props, if you choose to use them, with bits and pieces such as cushions and a blanket from around the home. Not only that, but you can practice wherever, whenever and in your knickers if you want to.
Yoga benefits all.
Yoga was conceived for ordinary people with families and daily obligations. It’s not about touching your toes or striking the perfect pose, quite simply it’s about feeling better in every aspect of your life. By design, Yoga is practical and applicable to anyone at any level and so really lends itself to us busy Mums.
Here are a few steps to help get you started…
Carve out time for yourself. Yes, back to the old self-lovin’. Yes – you deserve to enjoy all of these things and believe me, everyone around you will thank you.
Set achievable goals – If you have 10 minutes – that’s enough. I aim for 3-4 sessions a week and they range from 15 mins to 1 hour. As a guide 15 mins three times a week is a great start.
Be flexible and honest about what’s stopping you. Do your best to work with and around those barriers. If you find lots of excuses then write them down and see them for what they are – excuses.
Prepare a practice space that’s comfortable, temperate and where you’re less likely to be interrupted. Forget sportswear – just get into something that you can move around comfortably in – PJs or knickers and a sports bra work well.
Take a note of how you’re feeling before you practice and let that be your guide. If you’re feeling energetic and it’s earlier in the day then go for a dynamic practice. If you’re feeling tired or you’ve come to the end of the day then take a more relaxed restorative approach to prepare you for a good night’s rest.
A well-rounded practice includes:
- Time focused on breathing
- Moving the spine in all directions
- Bending forwards and backwards
- Stretching each side
- Rotating the spine in both directions.
A balance to build strength and relax the mind.
Balancing takes our focus away from the thinking mind and naturally induces a state of calm.
Relaxation, typically lying on the back (Savasana) so that you can absorb the benefits of your practice.
Be kind to yourself.
One of the first suggestions to achieving inner peace in the Yoga Sutras is to be kind to yourself and others, which comes well before the physical practice even comes into it. If you don’t make it onto your mat, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, be mindful about the way in which you’re carrying out your day. Periodically check in with yourself and ask – is what I’m thinking/doing kind? Am I being honest? Am I using my energy wisely? Am I content and grateful? Am I being present?
Above all – enjoy your practice and just know that…whether you practice Yoga or not – you are enough.
In my video, I link all of the elements listed above. Watch it here.