Most people know that doing yoga has several health benefits and we quite often read about the importance of having a consistent yoga practice.
Our choices are abundant: We could join a yoga studio, attend a class at the gym we already have a membership with, join in on the Corporate Yoga class our office offers or start up a home practice, perhaps even subscribing to an online video service to learn the basics.
But sometimes … ALL of these options just seem like one more thing to try and fit in somewhere between work, kids, making dinner and laundry. And sometimes it’s just easier to say “Forget it!”.
On the other hand, if you even done yoga ONCE before you know all too well how effective and immediate it is at relieving back pain, reducing stress, quieting our mind and improving flexibility.
So we love the benefits of yoga. We just don’t always have the time to do it.
Well here are 6 places you very likely spend at least some of your day in. Would you be surprised to know that you can do yoga in each of these situations quickly and easily??
(1) In the Shower – I think it’s safe to assume most if not all of us start our day in the shower. And we’re usually not fully awake yet so I’m certainly not going to suggest you break out into headstand pose during your morning routine. However, just letting the warm water hit any areas of your body that feel tight or restricted can help to relieve stress and tension. Point the shower head at your back for example, and as the warm water delivers a little massage and heat, use your breath to help dissolve any tension, focusing on an extra long exhale.
(2) Sitting at your Desk – When your shoulders start to creep up around your ears and you’re feeling the stress of your work day, do this: Inhale, lift your shoulders up to your ears. As you exhale, roll your shoulders back and down. Do 3 times. For a more intense experience, inhale shoulders up, exhale release your shoulders quickly down as you open your mouth and release an audible sigh. Do 3 times. You’ll feel better instantly.
(3) In the Car – Do you drive to and from work? You may even have a very long commute. While we certainly don’t recommend you do yoga while your vehicle is in motion, you can do yoga while you’re stopped at a red light. A simple twist in your seat, shoulder rolls or even just long deep breaths and immediately you’ll feel calmer on your ride home.
(4) At the Playground – If you have young kids you may find yourself at the playground after work or on the weekend. Instead of sitting on the bench the entire time, do yoga! There are lots of ways to do yoga at a park or playground so be creative. Find a way to stretch a part of your body that feels tight, do pushups on the ground, stand in Tree Pose to improve balance or just sit on the bench and lean forward over your legs, allowing the blood to drain from your body to your head and giving your spine a great stretch.
(5) In the Kitchen – If you cook for yourself or your family, you’ll inevitably find yourself in the kitchen at some point during the day. There are lots of ways to do yoga in the kitchen but try Downward Facing Dog. Holding on to the counter, walk your feet back until your spine is parallel to the floor. Draw your hips back as you press your hands into the counter and enjoy the deep stretch in your spine. Breathe deeply.
(6) In Bed – Yoga in bed is a great way to end your day. Not only will it give your tight muscles a fabulous stretch at the end of the day, it promotes a deep sense of relaxation and you will have the sleep of your life. Lie down with your head on your pillow and draw the soles of your feet together into reclining butterfly pose, allowing your knees to fall outwards. Place one hand on your chest, the other on your belly. Close your eyes and practice letting go using deep breaths in and out. Stay as long as you like. Let go of all of your efforts. Let go of your day. And just be.
So … If you just can’t find the time to get to a yoga class, do yoga wherever you are. Yoga is portable and can be done just about anywhere!