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Mind over matter: Make yoga an everyday part of your life

In our hectic and crazy lifestyles, it is easy to fall into the trappings of not having enough time to work out. Yoga, however, is a mobile practice you can easily incorporate into your everyday routine.
Below are some helpful dos and don'ts for making yoga a part of your everyday life. 


Do

Do remember yoga can be done anywhere

Practicing yoga does not mean you have to spend hours in a studio on a mat. Meditation and practices of mindfulness are a big part of yoga. Try taking a walk outside – breathe deeply, take deliberate steps and focus on the present moment.

Do use it as a way to wake up

A great way to incorporate yoga into your day is to move through a few rounds of Sun Salutation. This is an easy and standard sequence of poses. It is a great way to get out of your head and start to link mind, body and breath. 

Do incorporate into your regular workout regime

Start by incorporating a few poses at the end of your run or workout as part of your cool-down routine, just as you would stretching and foam rolling.

Do practice just five minutes a day

Even if you can only try a few poses due to space constraints or can only remember how to do a handful of exercises from your latest yoga class, try finding a quiet place in a park or the office atrium and conduct a few gentle yoga asana. Your body will feel much better once you head back to the office or to your house, and your mind will feel more expansive.

Do utilize all the resources you have

Online classes have come a long way over the years and are a great resource. There are videos ranging from 15 minutes to 90 minutes – perfect to fit your needs on any given day. If you are on-the-go, use one of the many apps for mobile, as they have everything from daily poses to workouts. 


Don't

Do not limit your practice to your space

Just because you cannot get on all fours on your yoga mat at your office does not mean you cannot still do some stretching. Try a seated twist in your office chair. A simple scale pose at your desk is a great way to engage your deep abdominal muscles keeping you active throughout the day. 

Do not feel like it is a competition

Yoga is about listening to your body and doing what works for you. Remember, if a pose seems too difficult or painful, relax and take a few deep breaths. Do not force the position. Listen to your body and do what feels best. 

Do not be afraid to make it up as you go

Still unsure about what poses or sequences to follow? It doesn’t really matter. Just move through poses that you are familiar with and that make your body feel good. Turn on some music and start to tune into what your body is asking for. 

Do not be deterred by cost

Worried about the cost of a class? Many studios and local stores offer free yoga classes or discounts for first-timers. Talk to your local studio owners and see if you can try a class before committing to a larger package. 

Do not forget to make it a priority

If you really want to do it, you have to make time for it. You have to make it a priority. Practice at least four times a week by carving out little chunks of time. Remember, not all practice is physical activity. A big part of yoga is also studying and practicing mindfulness.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

Yoga can add years to your life, relieve back and neck pain and help you lead a happier existence. Incorporating it into your daily routine is a small step towards creating a more pleasant and stress-free lifestyle. 


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Photo Credits: Yoga by Hernán Piñera via Flickr; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Heidi SonjuYoga Manager

Heidi is a certified ACA Fitness personal trainer and the Yoga Manager for Dollamur Sport Surfaces (Dollamur), the largest global manufacturer, and distributor of high-performance competitive sports flooring for wrestling, martial arts, MMA, Cro...

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