Quick and easy ways to benefit from yoga every day

Cat pose for daily yoga
Take inspiration from a cat and bring some yoga into your life every day!

So, you’ve tried this yoga thing.

You’ve experienced the benefits of increased flexibility or relief from back pain. Maybe you’re sleeping better and you feel more relaxed in every day life.

Hey, this yoga stuff really works!

And now you’re thinking you’d like to do it more often. But where do you begin? How do you make time?

Often I hear from students who come to my classes that they’d love to do more yoga. They’re feeling the benefits and recognize that a more regular practice would benefit them deeply.

But the most frequent barrier I hear is that they say they haven’t got enough time in their day or space in their home.

I totally understand the frustration! We lead such busy, frantic, full lives. It can be challenging to carve out space in your schedule for some much-needed me time.

But, be aware, a yoga practice isn’t just a 60-minute movement, breathing and relaxation session on a yoga mat.

No, you can bring yoga into your life guerilla-stylee and carve our a few minutes here and there of mindful movement and breath awareness.

So, here are my two top tips to establishing your own yoga practice.

1. Get creative

Get creative as to when you can bring some mindful movement into your day. For example try these little things to refresh body and mind throughout the day.

* First thing in the morning stretch from tip to toe before you get out of bed.

* When you’re brushing your teeth be mindful of your core muscles and gently engage them to switch on your core stability.

* If you’re waiting in a queue, say for a coffee, be mindful of your posture and stand in Mountain Pose and lift slightly from your breast bone to align your spine.

* Sitting in an interminable meeting? Focus on your breathing and take some deep full breaths to refresh both body and mind.

* When you’re sitting at a desk you can practise some simple Sitting Spinal Twists to release tension from the back and shoulders.

* Get up from your desk, stand about arm’s length behind your chair, stretch your arms up and then bend forwards and place your hands on the top of the chair’s back rest and give your spine and legs a lovely stretch (i.e. your legs are straight and vertical and your spine is long and parallel to the ground).

* If you’re feeling tired and lethargic do a couple of Downward Facing Dogs (something I do when I’m working in my part-time job. I’ve even got my colleagues giving it a try!).

* At the end of the day lie down or sit comfortably for a few minutes, scan your awareness through your body from your feet, through your legs, hips, abdomen, chest, back, shoulders, neck, face, mind, and invite each area to relax and let go.

2. Make it non-negotiable

And if you’re going to start a home practice, be realistic. You may be unlikely to start and maintain a daily 60 minute practice straight away (all praise to you if you do though!).

Instead, to begin with, set aside 5 or 10 minutes in the morning and/or in the evening to practise some yoga. Find a corner in your home. Carpet is fine – you don’t necessarily need a yoga mat to begin with. If you haven’t got much space then sit on a chair and move and breathe there.

Set a regular time and stick to it.

Be disciplined. Make it non-negotiable. Like brushing your teeth – do it because you know you need to.

No ifs, not buts – just do it.

Some ideas on where to begin

To help you, I have put together a guide on Simple movements to release tension throughout the day (PDF) with ideas for the morning, throughout the day and the evening.

So I invite you to set aside just 5-10 minutes once, twice or even three times a day to move and breathe with awareness.

Create space, ease and relaxation in your body and mind. Make time for you – nourish yourself – you deserve it!

Bring yoga into your life

I’d like to leave you with this fab quote by Vanda Scaravelli – it totally sums up my experience of yoga!

“In the beginning you have to make room for yoga in your daily life, and give it the place it deserves. But after some time, yoga itself will pull you up by the hair and make you do it”

Oh yes it will!! :)


Over to you

How does this sound? Can you give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to try some of the movements I suggest? How did it feel? Do you feel the urge to practise more yoga? Let me know in the comments box below.

What next?

If you would like help putting together a personal practice or help with a particular health issue then book a Better Health Living Yoga Session with me.

Not in Southampton? Then check out my growing library of online resources.

Keep in touch

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{Photo credit: quinn.anya / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)}

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