As a yoga teacher, December is a time of year when I first start to see greater numbers of students missing classes. For most people, especially those with children, the weeks quickly become full with end of year functions, parties, sports and of course the stress of fitting in Christmas shopping or overtime at work.
Then as January rolls round, many students struggle with making it back onto the mat again after the dust has settled. And I completely understand why. Having some time off for leisurely days camping, relaxing at home, or running around after kids on school holidays, it can feel like a massive effort to get back into our routines again, even those activities we normally enjoy. It’s a shock to the system returning to work, weekly exercise and the self care of getting to bed early now we don’t have the luxury of holiday sleep ins!
The problem with dropping our self care practices like yoga is how hard it can be to get back into the swing of things when the holidays are over. A week or two off from our practice can soon turn into a month or more.
That’s why the best plan is to keep up SOME yoga every day rather than let it drop off completely.
In doing so, it won’t seem like a Herculean effort to get ourselves back to our weekly yoga class after so much time away.
And if you have fallen down the rabbit hole of summer holiday fun with a yoga mat collecting dust in the corner, never fear! This advice works for you too. All you need are some baby steps to find your way back into your yoga. Yes, even if you’re off camping, holidaying someplace beautiful or unfortunately back at work, find a way to include one yoga practice every day. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
The following are simple ways to fit some quick yoga into each day:
- When you first wake up, take a moment to perform 5 abdominal breathes. Rather than let your mind race ahead to all the things on your to do list, this gives you a chance to wake up feeling a little more calm.
- Do a couple of rounds of sun salutations in the morning or even during afternoon tea.
- Try a gentle spinal twist in the evening before you hop into bed.
- Set your alarm 10 minutes early and do some gentle cat stretches and two slow, gentle rounds of sun suluations before you start your day.
- Take 2 deep, abdominal breaths before you drink your morning coffee. Turn the whole experience into a mini meditation by noticing the sound of the coffee pouring, smelling the aroma, feeling the heat of the cup with your hands, the taste of that first delicious sip, the texture in you mouth.
- Get creative, do a few yoga poses like butterfly while you’re watching tv or use ad breaks as a chance to do some downward dog, tree pose or a gentle forward bend.
- Have some fun trying out harder balancing poses like dancer or eagle while you’re in the swimming pool. The water will help you feel graceful and support you.
- Get your kids involved, they are natural yogis. Get them doing some downward dogs, churning the mill (stirring the pot) or cat stretches and make up some fun stories around the poses.