How to Fit Yoga into Your Busy Schedule

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This is a guest post written by TeachStreet. TeachStreet is a website dedicated to providing online and local classes as well as yoga classes.

We all know the benefits, both physical and mental, that yoga provides us. Not only that but many find yoga to be a fun and relaxing experience. The problem is, not all of us are able to fit weekly yoga classes into our busy schedules. Furthermore, just one class a week is simply not enough to get the full benefits of practicing yoga.

So how do we fit yoga into our daily lives, especially when we’re so busy? TeachStreet asked this question to the TeachStreet Yogis and Yoginis. Here, some of their top replies.

TeachStreet Yoga Teacher Vidya Nahar Said:

Remain aware of your breath, no matter what you are doing. Let your stomach rise with inhale and fall with exhale (like a balloon becoming bigger with incoming air and becoming smaller with outgoing air). This simple practice will allow you to focus on task at hand (whether you're at job, with your family, eating food, watching TV, etc.) vs getting distracted by thoughts.

Literal definition of yoga is union. As long as your mind and body are united through your breath, you're still practicing your yoga. You don't have to be always down on a mat to practice your yoga.

For physical practice of yoga, incorporate it in your daily routine as much as possible, instead of taking time out from your busy schedule to practice yoga. For example, you can easily do some eye, neck, shoulder, arm and leg stretches while you are seated at your desk. Hold chair or tree poses when you're talking on a phone. Do trunk rotations while you're sitting in your chair. Hold your plank position on a chair or by the wall, if you can't get down to the floor.

Yoga Practitioner Rebecca Jackat said:

Yoga doesn't have to be a weekly hour-long class. By developing your own practice, you are able to apply what you have learned in classes.

If you have only 20 minutes, do some breath work to get centered and work in warm-ups like neck rolls and cat and cow. Sun salutations work every part of the body and provide a wonderful way to get into a seamless flow of postures.

Make sure to do some twists and keep time for meditation. Again, even a few minutes will be beneficial.

Throughout the day, even when it is hectic, do some gentle stretches at your desk and take your eyes off your computer screen (as I type this late at night!).

Every hour, take a few deep breaths to reconnect. In the evening, do some gentle stretches to help with relaxation and sleep. Child pose, knee down twist and rag doll.

Enjoy yoga when you can, on and off the mat, and bringing it into your day in small increments can be beneficial.

Yoga can be done anywhere, at any time. If you breathe mindfully, you are doing yoga. If you stretch your arms and legs while seated at your desk, you are doing yoga. Even if you don’t have yoga blocks or a carry a mat with you wherever you go, you can always find a clean flat space to loosen your body, and improve the quality of your day.

What suggestions do you have for incorporating yoga into your daily routine?