We have said it before and will say it again… it does not matter the number or minutes or hours per day you practice. What matters is that you simply get on the mat each day… consistency is the key. I know my life changed when I got on the mat EVERY day.
Here is how I did it last year: I decided to wake up before the kids each morning to start my day with 10 minutes of yoga and a few minutes of reading something spiritual in nature. I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier (this meant waking up at 6:15am instead of 6:30am). After a few weeks, I found I was craving more than 15 minutes so the alarm was set 30 minutes earlier. Another month later, I started setting the alarm for an hour before anyone else stirred. Those quiet moments gave me comfort and energy for later in the day. (Those of you with children know that some mornings you will hear the pitter patter of little feet running up the hall to see what you are doing. I discovered if I invite my little beings in, I can continue to practice. It may mean sitting still with my friend in my lap, or covering her with a blanket so she can rest and watch me practice. Invite them in instead of getting upset. It is Yoga in the best sense of the word.)
Here’s how I practice in summer: I take a walk outside and practice yoga in the park or back at home for a few moments Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I use this practice just to counter stretch the walk or jog I have just finished. If I can’t walk that day, I just get on my mat. Sometimes it means laying down and taking a twist. Others, I take a few sun salutations, rest and sit quietly for a moment. Tuesday and Thursday, I dedicate at least 30-60 minutes to practice by myself with no interruptions. Saturday and Sunday I usually get a few quiet moments in the morning to gently stretch the body upon waking.
How do you fit your yoga practice into your day?
**As a side note, I know I have many friends that will use their lack of a home practice to beat themselves up or use it as one more way they don’t measure up. It is time to let that go. The key to many spiritual disciplines is compassion. Maybe all you do is get on your mat and decide you would really rather be doing something else or your kids need you more. That is Yoga and that is being mindful.