Everyone deserves a bit of me time. Yet, we’re all constantly being pulled in different directions. We have work or school. We have to spend time with the family or friends. We have to sleep, eat, shower, clean and do other daily tasks. Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Here are 13 tricks for finding time to do yoga:
Do it with the family – Many parents fail to take care of their health by using the excuse that they’re busy taking care of their families. It’s true that raising a family can fill up your day pretty quickly. However, parents, especially to young children, are role models. Every day after dinner, you can do yoga as a family. By doing it together you have the social support system so that no one skips it. You also incorporate it into your routine so it becomes second nature. Whether you practice yoga at home or at a studio, by making it a family activity you can spend time with your family, take care of yourself and teach your children mindfulness.
Have your mat on the floor ready to go – Sometimes the thought of leaving your house to go to a studio to practice yoga is too much work. Even if you exercise at home, setting up is often daunting. However, if your yoga mat is laid out by the bed when you wake up, you know you have no excuse. You can incorporate it into your daily routine. Each morning you can practice yoga by your bed (quietly if your partner is still asleep) so that it’s the first thing you do. You can follow it up by writing in a gratitude journal so that you start each day on a positive note. It’ll make mornings a bit more enjoyable.
Schedule it in – When it comes to meetings or appointments, people always find time to do it when it’s in your phone’s calendar. If you really want to make it stick, make a pact with someone in your yoga class who will be waiting for your every day at the same time. That way, you’re not committing to an activity but a person who will be let down if you don’t show up.
Make it convenient – If your kids are sick, practice yoga at home. If you only have 10 minutes, only spend 10 minutes on it. If you don’t have the space, clear your mind through meditation instead of practicing postures. Practicing yoga isn’t always about going to a yoga studio for an hour. It’s also about practicing your breathing and meditating. You’re not being judging by how much time you spend on it each day. However, even if you do it for five minutes, you are still taking care of yourself. By stopping completely, it makes it more difficult to start up again and even easier for the excuses to start.
Sleep in your yoga clothes – Pajamas are overrated. Sleeping in your yoga clothes tricks you into doing your yoga routine in the morning since you’re already dressed for it. You can sleep in yoga pants and a comfortable tank top and sticky socks if you don’t want to sleep barefoot. When you wake in the morning, you’ll be ready to do some postures before having to make breakfast or getting ready or work. Remember, you don’t need to do yoga for an hour each morning. If you only have time to fit in fifteen minutes then do it for the fifteen minutes.
Wake up earlier – Doing yoga in the morning is a great way to start the day. If you love yoga and are extremely passionate about it, waking up earlier to do it won’t be as difficult. Some people aren’t morning people. However, it’s much harder to get out of bed to go to work (which is often something people don’t like doing) versus getting up to do yoga (something you love). By telling yourself it’s yoga time when your alarm goes off it makes early mornings easier to manage. Over time, you’ll find that you naturally wake up earlier and are excited to practice yoga right when you wake.
Lunchtime yoga – Many companies promote a healthy lifestyle. Some will pay for your gym membership. While not all companies will have on site gyms and showers, practicing yoga at lunch in an empty room at your company can easily be done. You can talk to your superior about starting up lunchtime yoga for people in the office. You can all take turns leading the class. You can follow along to a DVD or to a sheet of paper. It’ll also give you an opportunity to make new friends in the office who share a similar interest which will allow you to build stronger relationships with them. You’ll also show initiative by recommending the idea to your boss which will help with employee morale and reduce employee stress.
Make it date night - If you’re passionate about yoga, you and your partner can make yoga class your date night. It gives you two an opportunity to enjoy the presence of each other while still having your own space. This works especially well if you have an introverted partner as yoga is often an individual activity among a group of people. It allows you to have your me time while your partner is nearby. Not all dates require talking or adventure. It can show your partner a different side of you so that you can better know each other. If you’re single, you can call up some of your friends and make your yoga class part of a weekly girl’s night out. If you’re a single guy you can also invite your friends so that you can see who’s more athletic.
Straight from work – Often times, when we finish work we want to go home and do absolutely nothing. However, if you change your after work routine, to go straight to a yoga studio after work, you’ll be more likely to do it. Everyone knows that once you’re home it’s a lot harder to leave again. If you don’t do yoga at a studio, then doing your yoga postures once you get home before making dinner or doing any chores, you might have better luck for making it work. It’ll help you build up an appetite. You can also make it a part of your dinner prep routine. Once the food is in the oven, you can plop in a DVD to follow along to since you’re waiting for the food to be made.
Make it a Routine – If you practice yoga every day at the same time, it’ll eventually become second nature to you. It take can take as little as 21 days to form a habit. Focus on finding a time in the day, each day that you’re usually free. For example, if you’re always unwinding every day at 8pm, that might be a good time to do your yoga each day. If you naturally wake up really early each day, first thing in the morning may be best for you. Whatever time you find that you naturally waste, use that time to practice yoga instead. It might be hard to stick to that time every day at first, but overtime it becomes more natural.
Use Positive Language – Sometimes the words we tell ourselves in our head prevents us from accomplishing our goals. For example, if you constantly say things like ‘there’s no time to do yoga’ or ‘I never have energy to do yoga’ you’re telling your subconscious brain to continue believing something that isn’t necessarily true. You can do psychological tricks that’ll change your perspective and your habits. For example, if you say ’8 p.m. is a great time to do yoga each day’ then you’ll find yourself more likely to do yoga then. If you say ‘I am confident that I can master this yoga posture with daily practice’ you’ll be more likely to persevere when you’re starting out. If you say ‘Practicing yoga will give me energy and strength’ you’ll be more likely to do it. Sometimes when your mind wanders it puts negative language to prevent you from success, but retraining your brain into positive thinking is possible and pretty easy. All you need to do is think a positive thought as soon as a negative thought seeps in.
Squeeze it in – Sometimes to find that time you just need to squeeze it in. Even five mins of yoga each day helps you maintain your routine and your strength. Everyone has access to the same amount of hours each day. According to a recent article on Medium, when you eliminate work, sleep, commuting and other daily tasks, you end up with a whopping 62 hours a week of free time. You can divide the 62 hours to include time for yoga, time for family, time for passion projects. If you examined your schedule to see where you aren’t maximizing your time, you’d find that you actually have a few more hours than you realized.
Do it during the commute – If you take the train to work each morning, you can practice yoga on it. Go to a quiet section of the train (often the top floor) play some yoga playlists on your phone make sure it’s not too loud to distract those around you. Practice breathing techniques. Yoga isn’t only about postures, it’s also about mindfulness.
At the end of the day, if you’re passionate about yoga and are committed to growing as a yoga enthusiast, you’ll need to find what works best for you. You’ll need to examine your daily routine to find gaps and you’ll need to play around with your schedule. Practicing yoga helps make you a stronger and more mindful individual. The benefits of yoga outweigh the inconveniences of a hectic schedule. These 13 tricks for finding time to do yoga are starting points, but you are the driver in full control, make a decision that’s best for you.