8 Tips on Keeping Up Your Yoga Practice When Life Gets Busy.
I really wanted to call this blog post 'Tis the season to get cosy… but not to slack!’ and then I realised the negative connotation of that title. Yet part of me does feel like that - that I go into auto-lazy mode in holiday season.
So, how do you keep up your practice when life gets busy?
Let's face it, is hard enough trying to keep up a regular yoga practice on an everyday basis. So then when holiday season comes along with all the events, trying to see loved ones rushing around to get gifts, attending family gatherings and closing up the year, whether it's for personal or work tasks, trying to maintain a regular yoga practice may feel almost impossible for some. December always seems to be a busier month than usual, and many of us reach the end of the year feeling tired. So, what's the first thing that falls off when life gets busy?
Quite often it's those so-called extra activities we do to feel good, like self-care. Under that umbrella of extra activities that you do for yourself, we find our yoga practice. We won't skip what we consider primary obligations - like going to work or picking up the kids at school. Likely, we’ll most-often skip something that's beneficial for us because we're usually looking out for others. Therefore, it’s quite common for our yoga practice to suffer during the holiday season, or even during the year in periods when life gets a bit busier.
Let’s be honest, social media posts about your friend’s regular yoga practice, their consistency and other posts about practicing yoga doesn't necessarily help. In some cases it’s the contrary, it just makes us feel more guilty about skipping our own practice.
Life can be more complicated and get busier and sometimes it's just not feasible (at least that's what we tell ourselves to make us feel better). The truth is if you have time to be reading this blog post two minutes, you probably have time to be doing a two minute breathing exercise. Or if you have time to scroll on your phone for 20 minutes, then you have time do to a short practice (just check your screen time on your phone and it will show you how much time you use scrolling on social media). “Oh, but I have to set everything up.” or “I’m too tired at the end of the day.” Sound familiar? Do I need to go on? So why do we to put ourselves last when life gets busy? Take a moment to think about it.
This post is not intended to make anybody feel bad about themselves for not practicing, nor to lecture you on making time for a full practice - I get it you want to see family and friends. I do too! Instead, this post is an invitation to support you with some suggestions and ideas on how to keep up your yoga practice during this part of year. Remember, Breathing and Meditation practices are part of yoga as well, it is not only the asanas that form yoga. So, get creative and try some of the below steps and please let me know how it goes for you.
1. Take 1 minute to close your eyes and remember how you feel when you practice yoga. This is to help you with your motivation. Knowing why you are doing it will help you to find the time.
2. Do it first thing in the morning. Start your day with 2 minutes in silence with your eyes closed and the spine straight. Focus on the breath and allow the mind to quiet down. If you get distracted, go back to your breath.
3. Do three sets of Sun Salutations. No need to roll out your mat or set yourself up for a full practice. Throw a towel on the floor or practice on a carpet. Do it! You know you will feel better.
4. Consistency is key. Just be as consistent as you can even if it is 2 to 5 minutes and don’t always expect to do a full hour class working on the whole body. Pick one thing and do it. A little is better than nothing as we all know it’s always hard to get back into something after we have been away for a long time.
5. Prioritise your practice. When looking at your (long) to-do list for the day, be honest with yourself…do you need to do all the things on your list or can some wait till tomorrow so you can do yoga today?
6. Plan for it and get rid of distractions. Decide what you are going to do and what time you will practice the day before that way you’re more likely to do it! Block off rest time or self-care with yoga in your calendar at different points throughout the holiday season. It will help you actually stick to it.
7. Let go of expectations. Don’t expect the perfect class. Appreciate a different type of practice by lowering your expectation on what a full practice should be like. You don't need to always do a hardcore class or full hour to 90 minutes. Accept that 5-10 minutes will do for now. Hey even 2 minutes!
8. Get creative!!!! If you and a friend are both complaining that you haven’t done any practice for your body in a while, meet up and make it your date to practice an online session. Or become practice buddies during the holiday season. Or choose to use your lunch break to practice some chair yoga.
Remember, its all about your mindset. Prioritising your wellbeing will inspire your actions. But most important, don’t forget how you feel after yoga! Yoga is a form of self-care and putting yourself first is so important to ensure you can then show up with a strong body and mind for others.
We let our well-being slip when we get too busy. But, it's our well-being that let's us handle stressful situations better!
(Read that again!)
I hope you have a lovely holiday season and enjoy your yoga along the way.
Some quick prerecorded classes for you to practice so you don’t need to think!
* Working at a desk all day? No problem, take a 5 minute break and do a breath practice and neck stretch. Or take a 23 minute chair yoga practice.
* Have 15-30 minutes? Practice any of the 14 classes on the Pre-recorded on Demand Library. Save the library on your computer favourites tab and jump straight into a class
* Short Sequence to improve your sleep. Click here to download ebook with the sequence.
* 30-Minute Yoga Class to support excessive upper spine rounding . Click here to watch the pre-recorded class.