5 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into your Workday
Crazy busy but want to feel better and move better? Does trying to fit daily yoga into your schedule feel overwhelming? We want to stay flexible and fit and feel calm and capable. Incorporating yoga into our busy day can help us achieve these goals. Yoga can be done in small bits and boosts throughout the day to help your day feel more manageable and your body and mind more free. Here are five ways to add yoga to your day, even when you are super busy.
Breathe slowly and deeply.
Anytime you can think of it during the day, take two minutes to breathe slow and deep – equal count inhale and exhale. You will immediately feel the difference and it only takes two minutes. It helps calm your heart rate and soothes your nervous system. Learn more breathing strategies and exercises in my Yoga Breathing course.
Do yoga at your desk.
Even if you can’t get on your yoga mat at work, you can still get in some beneficial yoga. Take a couple minutes for a stretch session. See this blog post with some chair yoga poses or check out all the 10-20 minute videos on my YouTube channel – most of which can be done in your office! You can do a few stretches, or one of the videos during your lunch break. Even just a couple of poses sprinkled throughout the day can go a long way for relieving neck, back and hip tension.
Practice a 5 minute Meditation.
Meditation only take a few minutes a day, but it actually GIVES us time. By moving your body and mind from stressed and anxious to calm and free, your mind can think more clearly, focus better, and your body can feel better. There are many different ways to meditate including focusing on a mantra or an object, but the easiest in my opinion is focusing on the breath. Count your exhales up to 5 then begin again, or simply notice the air leaving and entering your chest and diaphragm, the movement of your belly or the temperature of the air as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Notice if your mind tries to wander or ruminate on other things besides the breath, and for just five minutes, gently guide it back to the breath over and over again. Game-changer.
Eat lunch mindfully.
Take a few minutes to stop all the other things you are doing and really enjoy lunch or a healthy snack. This means putting away the phone and email, and stepping away from the computer. Then, pay attention to all the details of your food. Notice the way the food looks, smells and tastes. Observe how it feels in your mouth and moving down your throat. Eat it slowly and chew a lot. Enjoy the food, the experience, and the peaceful moment. Eating can be Zen!
Focus on one thing at a time.
A yoga mindfulness practice is to focus on the present moment. You may have a zillion things going on in your professional and personal life (don’t we all!!). Try to do your best to just focus on one thing at a time. If you are fully immersed in the task at hand you will do a better job with it and be able to move on to the next thing more quickly. Plus, worrying about happened before work or what will happen after work contributes to tension and stress. It keeps your mind and body in a sympathetic nervous system state of fight or flight and anxiety.
These are some of my favorite ways to bring my yoga practice into the workday. Yoga is a practice, and sometimes we will be ON it, and other days it will feel like a painful chore. Throwing in little bite-sized pieces can help us do something great for our body and mind without it feeling overwhelming. Be compassionate, kind and fair to yourself, and just keep coming back to it. Do you have ideas about how you can practice yoga all day, every day? I’d love to hear your thoughts.