It's interesting to me that people so often have an all or nothing mentality in regards to yoga. I'm recovering from that thinking myself. I used to believe that if I didn't have 60 or 90 minutes to practice, then I would have to forgo yoga for the day. Needless to say, that's certainly changed for me. Now I tuck little pockets of yoga into my day (in addition to a longer daily practice).
If you're tight on time, you don't have to throw your yoga practice out the window. Your practice could be 10 minutes of Sun Salutations or arm movements with breath for 5 minutes and 5 minutes of pranayama. Yes, my yogi friends, a little bit of yoga is a good thing (of course a lot of yoga is great too -- just don't get locked into this belief if you're short on time). I remember a teacher telling me that it was better to practice 10 minutes every day rather than 90-minutes once a week. Over the years I've come to discover the truth in that statement for myself.
Think of it this way...
- How would your day change if you took the amount of time you complained and put that towards yoga, meditation, and/or pranayama?
- How would it feel if you cut out 20 minutes of TV time per day and filled it with yoga instead?
- What if you gave up two trips to the coffee house per week so you could spend the savings on a yoga class?
- How would your commute change if you did deep breathing at every red light?
- How would your work day change if you took a yoga break every 90 minutes (you could fill the break with breathing or basic yoga stretches)?
You get the idea. Squeezing yoga into your day isn't all that difficult -- it's a just a habit that you need to develop.
If you need some help with this, YogaGurl has recently released a relaxation CD called Whine Less, Breathe More (I just LOVE that title!). This delightful CD goes beyond the basic relaxation CD. It has a number of brief tracks that you can listen to throughout the day for a much-needed emotional and spiritual boost. The CD is a perfect mix between short, medium-length, and longer tracks.
The short tracks include a Breathing Break, a Laughter Break, a Sighing Break, and a short cleansing track called Let it All Go (the background is inspiring drum music). I love all four and I've included them into my daily yoga break ritual.
If you're looking for something over three minutes, the last three tracks on the CD offer yoga goodness in a realistic time frame. Energizing and Awakening, a track meant to be listened to at the start of the day, lasts 8 minutes. Relax and Refresh, which is like a time-out for grown-ups, is a 12-minute calming meditation. The final track, Deep Relaxation, is the longest track at 17-minutes and just the thing you need after a long, stressful day. The "Eco-preneur" behind YogaGurl, Alexandra Leikermoser, narrates the entire CD and her soothing voice blends perfectly with the accompanying mellow music by Michael Moon.
The folks at YogaGurl are calling this "the relaxation CD for busy people" and this isn't marketing hype. The tracks are just the right length and can fit into anyone's schedule -- from the busy executive to the over-committed mom. Add these tracks to your iTunes library or put them on your MP3 player and you've got a full yoga-inspired arsenal that can combat everything from the blues to stress to low energy. You can find 3 minutes to stop and breathe, right?
Just be sure you heed the warning on the CD label -- Warning: Listening to this CD may cause extreme relaxation.
If you can't appreciate yoga quick hits, then perhaps you'll appreciate the sentiment behind the title of this CD -- whine less, breathe more. I know we could all apply this to our lives. The next time I feel a complaint wanting to erupt from my lips, I'm going to take a deep breath (or maybe 3 or 4) instead.
P.S. Congratulations to Dorothy, the winner of the Storyland Yoga DVD!