I am currently in India running a service program for high school-aged students. The days are long and the work can be intense- let’s just say a lot can happen with 25 kids in a foreign country. Despite the packed schedule and the need for me to occupy multiple job roles simultaneously, I have kept a regular yoga practice. This is somewhat surprising- when life gets busy, usually self-care takes a back seat to other responsibilities. Why does yoga remain stable in such a busy schedule?
Yoga helps you deal with intensity in your schedules, mind, and life! A physical yoga practice reduces stress and is beneficial to our nervous system. It literally keeps you calm and cool in intense and high stress situations. But getting to the point where your yoga flows into your busy schedule takes some effort toward developing effective habits. Follow the steps below to insert yoga into your schedule and habits!
- Start Small to Avoid Burnout
When you first started to practice yoga, did you cram in as much yoga as you could? If you are anything like me, you like to really go for it. That is a great quality, but in yoga, it can quickly lead to burnout. Yoga practice requires dedication and patience. Attending as many classes a week as you can may improve you physically, but has the tendency to exhaust your mentally. Start your yoga practice small, but attending classes 3 times a week or taking 20 minutes out of your day specifically for yoga. Note that this practice may be physical, meditative or breath based!
- Listen to Your Body
When schedules get busy, our focus shifts outward vs. inward. This can affect your ability to listen to what your body needs and wants. Yoga practice facilitates the connection between the mind and body naturally, but being aware of how you are doing mentally and physically can help speed up the process. Take a minute or two out of your day and ask yourself “ How am I doing? What do I need?”. These two simple questions are a great way to start strengthening your awareness around your body.
- Make it a Ritual
This is probably the most challenging aspect of inserting yoga into your scheduled life. It starts as an interest, morphs into a habit and eventually becomes a ritual. A ritual is an act repeated in consistent way. It isn’t mindless, but you don’t question it as being a part f your day or your schedule. I’m not going to lie: this takes good old-fashioned time and effort. By starting small, your will set the platform to continue a goo habit and make it permanent. Yoga makes it easy in this way- when you do it, you feel better.
Take a minute or two out of your day and ask yourself “ How am I doing? What do I need?”.
Life gets busy and intense, and a yoga practice us always there to help us adapt. Use yoga as a tool to improve your body and behavior during the intense times. Trying out these simple techniques can lead to great results. You may be surprised at where the path takes you!