We often skip Yoga when we need it the most. Busy schedules at work as well as at the weekends leave no time to go to a yoga class. But especially when we find 24 hours every day are not enough to manage everything, we often could benefit the most from Yoga.

There are ways to integrate Yoga – even when you don’t have time to go to a 90 minute class at a studio. Here are some tips that I try to integrate into my daily routine.

  1. Mountain pose is not only an asana in the yoga class
    Try to keep a good posture throughout the whole day. Work on a long back, lift the sternum and release the lower rips down – don’t slouch. We are not turtles, so keep the chin parallel to the floor and the neck in an extension of the spine.  A bad posture will also have a negative effect on your mood and your breathing. Just sit and slouch for a moment. How well can you breath like this and how do you feel? Strong and confident? Probably not ;-).  With a good posture a busy day will be less exhausting.

  2. There is always time for meditation
    Already 3-5 min of intentional breathing can make a big difference and clear our mind.  Every time you wait for the kettle to boil, use these few minutes to take a break from your “monkey mind”. This also works in front of the coffee machine of course ;-).  Your way to work can also be the perfect place for mediation. Walk mindfully, experiencing every step you take and the things you see with no judgement. I often use a meditation app to help me to stay focused.
    Whatever situation you pick for mediation: Always start by focusing on your breath. Feel every inhale, every exhale – and the pause in between. Slowly lengthen the exhale, as this will help to quiet your mind and nervous system. See the breathing as the basis for your mediation practice. If you are really stressed, it is difficult to suddenly be still and to quiet the mind. The breath will help and guide you.
    And don’t forget: If you have time for social media, you have time for meditation 🙂

  3. It doesn’t need to be the 90min class
    Pick a few asanas which will fit your needs.
    A long day in front of the screen and your neck and shoulders are hurting? Perhaps some gentle heart openers for a few minutes at home.
    You feel tired after a long journey on the plane? Place your legs up the wall and rest in Viparita Karani. Overtime in the office? Use 5-10 min on your office chair. Forward folds are possible sitting down and arm circles connected with your breath will help tension and stiffness in the upper back and neck area. Using the back lean of your chair, you can do nice twists for the lower back.

  4.  Do routines mindfully
    Did you ever notice that you seem to wander off with your mind in a boring presentation or in a conversation with a co-worker? Try to resist these little distractions. Give the other person your full attention, keep your phone in your bag, listen carefully – listen mindfully. It will help you to stay calm and it will benefit the relationship with the presenter or co-worker as well.
    Same for everyday routines like doing the dishes. Stay focused here in the moment. Feel the warm water on the skin, smell the fresh soap and watch the bubbles splash.

  5. Choose yourself
    We often try to arrange everything around the needs of other people and we end up with not much time to ourselves. Prioritize wisely and  learn to sometimes say no, so you can have some quality time with yourself. Guilt is not a good adviser for your own mental and physical health. Your family, friends and co-workers will benefit from this as well.