I struggle daily to make time for even just a few poses each day—and, to be sure, there are stretches (pun intended!) of time when I don't unroll my mat much at all—but I've gotten into a rhythm over the past few years where I practice more days than I don't. It's not easy, but it's always worth it. I never regret making my yoga practice a priority. I never wish I'd spent a few more minutes scrolling through my Facebook feed instead. I almost always feel better, not just for the few minutes after I took time to practice, but for practically a whole day after. So, how do I make it happen?
|Clock photo by Fabiola Medeiros|
10 Ways to Make More Time for Your Yoga Practice
Here are a few easy things that help me make the most of the time I have so I can get on my mat more often:
1. Identify your WHY. Write down why you want to make time for your yoga practice and put it on a post it note where you'll see it every day. Take a few minutes to really reflect on why you've decided to make your yoga practice a priority in your life. Stumped? I like the idea of writing it as an affirmation. Try one of these: I practice yoga daily because it makes me feel _________ . I practice yoga daily because it gives me __________. I practice yoga daily because it makes me a better ________.
2. Take an inventory of what you spend most of your time on. BE HONEST, when you finally get the kids down for bed at night do you sit and stare at you computer for 2 hours before you hit the hay yourself? (I am totally guilty of this!) Would it really make a huge difference if you limited your nightly screen time to 30 minutes instead?
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3. Make a promise to yourself. Once you've identified a chunk of time that you can turn into Me Time consistently, it's time to commit! Get out your calendar, and decide on a time frame that's doable for you (A week? Two weeks? A month? The amount of time doesn't really matter as long as you follow through!). You might want to make a mental note of your finish date (I recently wrapped up a personal meditation challenge that wrapped up on Thanksgiving, for example), if it's a date you might forget write it down on your calendar (or maybe on that Post It note where you wrote your why in #1?).
4. Set an alarm. Most people have the best luck with establishing a home practice if they practice the same time every day, so set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to get up and move at the same time every day.
5. Stick to the same sequence. Don't give yourself the extra job of coming up what to practice after you actually get to your mat—it can waste precious time and could be the reason you decide to surf the web or veg out in front of the TV instead of doing your practice. Decide now what you'll focus on, write down a few poses you'll practice daily, or find a video online that you'll practice along with, and stick with it! If you get bored with the sequence, you can always change it up as you go or plan ahead and choose a different focus or video BEFORE it's time to unroll your mat.
Try this Short and Sweet Side Bend Practice or A Yoga Practice for Confidence + Acceptance.
7. Leave your yoga mat and yoga props out. Make it really, stupid easy to just jump in and get going. That way if you only have a few minutes to practice, you can use every second breathing and moving because you won't have to set up your space.
8. Organize the rest of your life so you aren't using excess time or energy making tasks harder than they have to be. Remember when you did an inventory of what you spend the most time doing? Was there anything on that list that could be streamlined with a little more careful planning and organization? Do you spend hours folding laundry when you could cut that down to a few minutes by putting everything on a hanger? Are you wading through hundreds of garments you never wear to get dressed in the morning? Organization can be a struggle for me, but when I really took time to organize my closet, organize Annabelle's toys, plan my meals every week, etc., I found I had so much more time and energy at the end of the day that I could use for my own self-care and my yoga practice!
If this seems daunting to you, tackle one small space at a time and go from there. Organizing can take a lot of time in the beginning, but I promise you, it's worth the effort in the long run!
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9. Just say NO to anything that doesn't serve you. For me, sometimes that means opting out of a girls night out to catch a yoga class instead or turning away work assignments that won't lead me to my end goals. Learning to say no to things that get in the way of my yoga practice (or other self-care practices) has saved me.
10. Forgive yourself. No matter how disciplined you are, there will be times that it doesn't happen. During those times, it won't help you to beat yourself up (after all, isn't the whole goal of this to help yourself feel GOOD!?). When you miss a day, just make a mental note of where things went off track, and pick up where you left off tomorrow.
Now it's your turn! In the comments section below, tell me what tips or tricks you've discovered that help you make time for your yoga practice.
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