Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Reluctant yogi?

Is this you? ‘What a beautiful morning! I’ll get up, do some sun salutations to set me up for the day …’ Just as you make your way to the available clear patch of floor in your home, the aroma of coffee wafts up from the kitchen… and you’re lured off to relax with a read over breakfast instead.

Later that day: ‘Right, I’m going to set aside 30 minutes for a few heating twists before dinner.’ You slip into your yoga gear, decide what to practice and your friend/partner summons you to see something on telly or a friend phones, or child returns and before you know it…..you’ve missed the moment.

That night: ‘Tomorrow I will start my new yoga routine.’ You set the alarm. Drift off to sleep. Alarm rings. That time already? It’s cold, dark… blanket slides over head and there you stay for another hour, rushing to work and the other duties of the day without stopping to breathe.

Sound familiar? Home practice doesn’t have to be a ‘chore’ it is fun, it makes you feel really good! It just fits in… if you let it.

You can squeeze in a few joint warm ups, wrist and ankle rotations, gentle side lengthening postures and roll ups and roll-downs before your shower… before the coffee even goes cold! Shake off that groggy morning feeling with simple breathing exercises, or a few rounds of Kapalabhati to clear the head.

Later that day... Try sitting on the floor (or folded blanket to raise the sitting bones) with a lengthened spine, extending though your legs while watching TV. Then add some gentle seated postures. Janu sirsanasa and Maricyasana style forwards bends and twists and even a few gentle back bends, such as cobra. You'll feel less creaky than if you heaved yourself off the sofa. And if you are truly feeling exhausted, then put yourself into a supported restorative posture and give yourself a little breathing space.

The dark, cold morning scenario is tricky, but once you are up and moving, you will feel so much better. You can incorporate some spine lengthening postures and hip flexor warm-ups before you even leave the comfort of your bed (depending on the willingness of bed sharer!) Try half happy baby (or full) or supta baddha konasana (soles of feet together and maybe pillows under knees) or a few rounds of apanasana (hugging knees to chest on the exhale) and even gentle supine twists while lying in bed. Then you will be raring and warmed up ready for your sun salutations or just a few warriors to get you fighting fit for the day.

Need more inspiration and encouragement? Come along to a Developing your self practice workshop next month with me. I'll give you tips, ideas and some easy to follow sequences to fit in no matter what your schedule and mood!
Saturday November 22nd − 3pm to 5pm at the Yoga Body Centre in Clapton, north east London.
*See the Workshop link above for more details.