Maintaining a regular yoga practice can be a challenge even for the most devout yogis. Between work, family, friends, exercising and errands, the days can start to feel a little compressed.
Fortunately, I work for and practice at a facility that truly fosters a home practice. We are constantly encouraged at LifePower Yoga classes to follow the guidance of our own unique breath and to explore movement on our own often.
There are days that I simply cannot (or do not want to) make it to a class. Though I miss the community connection and inspiration from the teacher, I’m grateful to have the empowerment to take my yoga practice anywhere. You can always find some time to meditate, stretch or even throw down an intense arm balance practice in just a few minutes.
Yoga on the go can be uninspiring, daunting, tricky, sticky and even slippery. Here are a few tips to keep your yoga practice going strong even when you can’t make it to class.
1. Quality of Quantity.
Contrary to popular belief, yoga doesn’t have to be done all at once or for any specific amount of time. If you can meditate for 5 minutes in the morning, do it. Perhaps later in the day you can stretch for 10 minutes. Spinal twists are amazing. You can do them standing, seated or lying down. Forward folds, as well. They are very releasing and you can do this at the copy machine! The point is, yoga doesn’t care how long you do it. Completely quieting your mind and coming into a child’s pose or a headstand for 2 minutes can be just as powerful as a 2 hour ashtanga practice at the right time.
2. There’s an app for that.
And You Tube. And a million yogis sharing numerous videos online these days like Cody App. Instead of snubbing them for having perfect hair or extra bendy bodies, focus on their intention. They most likely do yoga because it feels good. They most likely share yoga to inspire you to feel good in your own body. You can find a sequence for anything: beginners to building a better booty, hip opening sequences to hip hop flows. If you are feeling like you need some guidance there is a yoga practice right at your finger tips. Google it!
There are all sorts of life hacks created for people on the go. Here are just a few:
- Music is my heartbeat. Long gone are the days of boom boxes and radios. I keep my iHome mini speaker with me at all times. This little 2X2 inch cube doubles as a keychain, links right to my phone and packs a major punch whether it’s guided meditations, Om chants or Dr. Dre. I can create whatever mood I need anytime.
- No Yoga Mat Required. With remedies like Yoga Paws, all you need is your hands and feet. They prevent slipping on hard surfaces. They act as barriers from hot, rough or less than clean places and feel just like have a mat right underneath you! So whether you’re in your office, your hotel room, the woods or rocks, you can get the protection and support you need.
- Take It OFF! Dress as comfortable as you are allowed. It was so amazing to wake up one day and realize that fashion, make-up and jewelry are not my thing. While I respect those who are capable of and enjoy this type of creativity, it literally would take hours from my day, cause severe allergies and I’m pretty sure I was bruised and perhaps even scarred by some of the jewelry I experimented with over the years. Active wear is so dynamic: a comfortable top, leggings with a light jacket and the right shoes can literally take you straight from the office the yoga studio these days. And everywhere in between. Be ready to bounce! Always. Less is more.
Remember yoga is not about the clothes, the music or the stuff! You really don’t need ANYTHING but your breath to practice yoga. So when in doubt, un-clutter; make some space emotionally, mentally and physically to connect with your breath anywhere. You might discover that practicing at home, the park or in the airport can be very liberating and that missing class isn’t the absolute worst thing in the world. Variety is the spice of life. Be grateful for the opportunity to be creative. You never know what might unfold!
Jenn Bodnar is co-founder of Yoga Digest Magazine and has a genuine belief that yoga can benefit everyone. She is 200ERYT having attended multiple teacher trainings, facilitating yoga teacher trainings and studying and practicing yoga since 1999. Jenn is an avid fitness professional, who has taught and managed group fitness for many years. As a former competitive triathlete, gymnast and dancer Jenn loves the balance of strength, flexibility, perseverance and freedom that a yoga practice provides. She loves being active and outdoors with her family and friends. Jenn is a self proclaimed health food chef who hopes to leave a positive footprint by inspiring others to always choose happiness. “Watching people grow through yoga is one of the most amazing miracles to witness.”