If you decide that today you will do some yoga at some point of your day, chances are you’ll keep delaying that time until you realize that the day has passed and then you firmly decide that you will do some yoga tomorrow at some point. Will you? We already know the answer. Instead, better set the specific time and treat it as a date. Well, essentially, it is a date – with yourself.
How busy are you in your day? How realistic is it to say that you will be disciplined enough to practice 40 minutes every day? How about 30? 15? 5? Like in so many other aspects of a yoga class, more is not necessarily better. It’s the commitment and the consistency that will prove to be the biggest change makers, not the number of minutes you spend on your mat. To begin with, better go with less.
I’m of the opinion that the biggest benefit from practicing asanas (yoga postures) doesn’t come because those shapes have some mystical powers, but because in yoga class, we are always invited to slow down and deepen our breath, to observe our body, and to move mindfully. So, if your reason for not practicing at home is that you can’t remember how to properly execute any of the traditional asanas, then simply don’t do them. It’ll be enough to do the simplest of moves keeping your attention on the breath, and synchronizing it with your movements. Try to listen to your body. In which way is it inviting you to move?
For me, yoga is about finding freedom. But if we confine yoga to the one square meter of the mat, how can that be freedom? You can do yoga anywhere, and by saying this I’m not inviting you to try and put your leg behind your head while waiting at the traffic light. (Actually, I’m explicitly inviting you to never do this, but that is another subject.)Wherever you are, you can always turn your attention to your breath. You can always reach your arms up and stretch with an inhale, and soften your body with an exhale. You can always notice how you are standing or sitting. Is your posture symmetrical? Is it comfortable? You can always feel your feet on the ground and be aware of the way they touch the ground when you walk.
The day is full of these “yoga and mindfulness windows” inviting us to look inside. We just need to notice them.
Good luck with developing your personal practice!