My Benefits

 

Fitting Yoga Into Your Daily Life

So, you’re too busy to get any yoga in? Well, I can definitely understand that. And while I am a firm believer that anyone who wants to learn and understand yoga should start by doing it at least an hour each day, you can still minimize it to about ten minutes. Now, that’s not to say you’ll get the full benefits in those ten minutes, but you will begin adjust your body’s tolerance to those mean stretches and bends. If you’re a novice, it will not feel like you are progressing too well, though, as you are not really getting much out of your yoga routine, but you will still be progressing, just a bit slower than most. If you are an intermediate or advanced yoga student, you can do this routine or any other routine you come up with in order to maintain your flexibility and strength. Now, as I said before, I highly recommend doing yoga for an hour a day if you are a beginner, and I even recommend that for more advanced users, but if you simply cannot do this, then ten or twenty minutes should suffice. I will write up a ten minute routine below. If you can manage anything more than ten minutes, simply elongate the times that you stretch each body part until it fits your time.

Begin in a starting position, raise your arms up above your head into sun’s salutation, and then lower them until your touch your toes. Walk your feet back into a push up position and come down and arch up into up dog pose. This should be about a minute into your time if you’re going slow enough to get any kind of stretch. Next, push back up into down dog and make sure you stretch your back. In all of these poses, since you are trying to fit it into smaller amounts of time, make sure you get a really good stretch while you are in the position or else you simply won’t get a stretch since you aren’t coming back around to the pose to make up for what you lost. So, you are in down dog and you are really stretching your back by pushing with your hands and opening up your chest as well as you can. Lift one leg back behind you and stretch it well, then swing it up forward to your hands. Make sure when you bring your body up into crescent pose that you get a good stretch in your hips and thighs. You can do this by bouncing down a tiny bit on the leg that you just swung forward and then repeating on the other leg when we swing it forward. So, now you’re in crescent pose. Lower your arms so they are at eye level and move into warrior’s pose. Move your body so your arms remain in the same position but your back arm goes down your back thigh and your front arm goes straight up in the air. In other words, bend your body back while keeping your arms in the same relative position. You will not move your arms themselves, but you will be bending your torso so that you can get a good stretch there. Now, bend forward so that your front hand touches the ground and bring your other hand down shortly after. Walk your foot back and come down and arch up into up dog. Stretch this well and push up into down dog. Stretch well here. (okay, so you might come back to the same pose a couple of times, but not nearly as many times as in any other yoga routine, so continue to make the most of it each time!) Lift your other leg into the air behind you and stretch it. Swing it forward to your hands, bounce on it to stretch your hips and thighs well, and come into crescent pose. Now bring yourself into warrior’s pose and repeat the torso bend. Bend backwards so your back hand touches your back leg and your front hand goes into the air. Now, bend forward and bring your hands down. Walk your foot backwards, come down, and arch back up into up dog. So, we’ve used up about five or six minutes of the routine by this point and it’s time to go somewhere else with it all. Push up into down dog and walk your feet back to your hands. Finally, come out of it all and back into sun’s salutation and ultimately, your starting position.

For the last half of the routine, you’re going to sit down and get a lot of good stretches in. The reason I’ve devoted a whole half a session to this is because it is such a short routine that you really need to get as much quick stretch as you can. So, sit cross-legged on the floor, bring one leg out and stretch to it, touching the toes. Repeat on the other side. Next, sit in an almost cross-legged position, but touch your feet together. Now, lie down on top of your feet, but keep your back straight. At first, you might not be able to go down all the way, but when you hold this pose and relax, you fall deeper into the stretch and it feels so good to do. You get a fantastic stretch here. I love this one. (For yoga with a partner, it really helps to have your partner massage your back and lightly press on you when you go down to the floor.) So, we’re about nine minutes in. Come back up and then lay down flat on the ground with your hands about seven or eight inches from your body and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Lay here for your remaining time and relax your body. Focus on your breathing, in deep through your nose, and out through your nose for nearly twice the time of your inhale. See? Don’t you want to have this kind of tranquility for much longer than a few minutes?? Well, don’t worry. You can definitely do yoga in ten minutes, as I’ve just explained, but if you can fit in more time, it is most certainly worth it.