Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How I Make Time for Yoga Daily

Its challenging to make time for yoga in between the exhausting to-do list of tasks we juggle daily; that damn list that, as Robert Earl Keen says, “help(s) me plan my day.”  That’s why I thought it might be useful to share the tricks I use to make sure I meet the RDA of yoga mandated by this challenge.  Here they are, in no particular order.

Dress for the workout.  I’ve used this trick for years.  On days I know I want to workout, I start the day in my yoga wear.  This reminds me I still need to workout - I can’t change until its done.  This is especially useful on days when I know I need to wear big-girl clothes out in public at some point because it spurs me to get the workout over so I can shower, change and primp.  And no, I do NOT subscribe to the idea that yoga pants are okay in public.  See yesterday’s post.

Bookmark your session.  Every morning I bookmark the day’s session on YogaGlo.  I pick one that fits my schedule and appeals to me based on style, specific use or teacher.  I keep it open as a tab on my computer so that, as I go about my workday (which is 99.9% in front of my laptop) it reminds me to get the session done. For those of you lucky enough to have a local yoga studio that offers the perfect class at the perfect time; be sure the session is blocked on your calendar and EVERYONE knows when you’re going to class.  It’s harder for others to encroach on this time if you’re up front about your schedule.

Plan for yoga according to your schedule and workout style.  Some like to exercise early in the morning; others prefer the evening.  I’m an afternoon workout person.  Plan for yoga when you like to exercise; you’re more likely to get it done.  And pick a time when you KNOW you won’t be disturbed. The end of your child’s nap is not a good time.  Nor is when you’re waiting for an important call, email or delivery.  If it’s difficult to block out more than 15 minutes at a time (some days are like that), aim for a shorter practice or break your session into two or three parts. When Flyboy is home, I can usually get in at least 30 minutes/day; when he’s not I may only be able to do 10 minutes while Pixie bathes in the evening.  Some yoga is better than none.

Listen to your body. For some of us, it’s not really a workout unless we’ve broken a sweat or strained something. But sometimes we’re just not up for that level of intensity – we’re tired, sick, entertaining “aunt flo” or sore from the previous day’s session.  Don’t skip a day just because you aren’t up for the tough stuff.  Pick a short restorative (that’s what they’re for, after all) or gentle hatha session.  If you’re far enough along with yoga, you may be able to string together a few poses from memory that you like and call to you.  Whatever the case, don’t skip a day; listen to your body and adjust accordingly.  I typically plan for 2-3 full hour sessions per week and fill in the other days with a variety of 10-30 minute sessions.

Commit yourself to a silly 100-day challenge and then tell everyone about it so you have to stick with it.  That’s what I did and, so far, it’s working.   : )

Does this list help you?  What helps you fit yoga into your day?

Today was another gentle back hatha session.  I seem to be hitting a bit of a wall and I can say with certainty that, if it weren't for this challenge, I would NOT have done yoga today.  Guess there ARE times when stubbornness and fear of failure are useful!

Days completed:  29
Days to go:  71

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