When you’re working 40 or more hours a week, it can be difficult to make time for self-care. If you do have precious hours of free time, you might desperately need to catch up on sleep, run important errands, or spend time with friends and family. Though these are all important and worthy activities, it’s easy to run yourself down if you’re not taking time to invest in your mental and physical health.
If you find yourself in this position, the good news is this – yoga can make an enormous difference in your life in a short amount of time. With just a few sessions each week, you can dramatically increase your energy levels, reduce stress, and feel more at-ease in your body.
However, if you’re busy with work, you might not be able to make it to a yoga studio more than once or twice a week. That’s okay! You can always supplement in-studio sessions with your own at-home practice. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that your personal practice becomes foundational for everything else you do.
To get started, here are some basic guidelines for practicing at home:
1. Set an intention.
As you settle in, think about what you want to accomplish in this yoga session and more generally throughout your day. Do you want to be more gentle with yourself on and off the mat? Or bring more gratitude into your life? Set your intention and continue to bring yourself back to this goal throughout your practice.
2. Choose poses you love.
When you’re practicing at home, you have the freedom to do exactly what your body needs. If you’re feeling run down by a busy work week, choose deeper restorative poses that will leave you feeling refreshed and grounded. If you need an energy boost, you can move through a series of power poses more quickly.
3. Build strength, then stretch.
Muscles need to warm up before they can be lengthened. Before you delve into a series of deep stretches, take time to get your blood flowing. Starting with a few sun salutations can work wonders for the remainder of your practice.
4. Don’t skip savasana.
Savasana might look like a nap at the end of your yoga practice, but it’s actually a powerful pose that carries significant benefits. When you’re in savasana, your body is hard at work internalizing all of the benefits from your yoga session. The pose itself is also incredibly relaxing. Even though savasana can add 5-15 minutes to your practice, it’s absolutely worth the effort – especially if you’re dealing with a heavy load of work-related stress.
If you want to make it into the studio a few times a week, but don’t have time in the mornings or evenings, Fallout Yoga has put together a special class just for you! Noon Express is designed to fit within an hour-long lunch break – it’s only 45 minutes long – and it’s offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So, if you’ve been looking for a way to fit yoga into your busy schedule, this class could be a dream come true.
Once you start to incorporate a personal practice into your workday routine, you’ll start to reap the benefits immediately. You’ll feel stronger, more energetic, and better able to tackle the challenges that come your way.
As you get started, consider checking out John Cottrell’s book Yoga with Intention. It’s designed to help you create the perfect home practice – even (and especially) if you have a busy schedule. And, if you have any questions, you can always drop in on one of his classes to chat with him in person! With so many incredible resources available to you through Fallout Yoga, you’ll find that it’s absolutely possible to make yoga a regular and rewarding part of your life.