With our hectic lives we all struggle to create the ideal amount of time for the important things in life. I know for me, life is a constant puzzle and I’m forever moving around the pieces to squeeze in some ‘me’ time for my own practice when there seems to be a million urgent things on my plate.
Getting to work; running a business; cooking dinner; spending time with loved ones. These things tend to come easier as they demand our attention.
Putting time aside for ‘me’ may not necessarily be a deal breaker, but having dinner on the table certainly is.
Yet scheduling ‘me’ time maybe one of the most important things I can do for myself. And if I related to it this way, while still difficult, it might not be as impossible. When I take care of myself first, I have more to give to others.
Personally, I know I feel best when I have practiced at least 3 times a week. Before I had my own business and worked full time in a corporate office I regularly practiced yoga 3 times per week. Yoga became my outlet. No matter what kind of day I’d had at the office, I knew I had my yoga to escape to. The breath, the movement, and the way I felt when I left the class after sweet savasana were in fact extremely addictive. My sleep was on track, and I had great energy to get through the day. No 3pm slump! My body felt strong, my mind felt calm and I knew I was in a great place to be present for the most important people in my life.
So the answer to this question is really in two parts. You first have to determine what you want. Ask yourself, “What’s my ultimate goal?”
Do I want to get fit?
Become more flexible?
Improve my sleep, my energy, the way I tackle my day?
My goal is always to feel fit and strong; and if I feel other positive side affects, great! The rest are just bonuses!
If yoga is new to you, then start gradually. Like anything, if you go ‘too hard too fast’ you will burn out and find yourself exhausted or injured. Like a runner returning to their regime, or someone who lifts weights at the gym. If you haven’t run or lifted weights for a while then you will be sore, tired and more than likely feel defeated.
To begin this kind of commitment, start slowly (especially if you’re new to practicing). Build up gradually and introduce the activity once a week, then twice a week and then more depending on your ultimate goal over a period of a month or so. Maybe start to write down a few notes about what you’re experiencing and share with your yoga instructor. I’ll always ask my students to pay special attention to how their bodies are feeling when we start a class so they become more aware.
The second part is to listen to your body. The messages our body sends us are critical. Notice how your body responds to the exercise. Do you feel good? Were you surprised at how well you handled yourself? Are you getting some bonus effects? This is the test.
Whether we are starting a new class, re-joining a class after an extended break, have an injury or want to add yoga to our regular exercise routine, learning to listen to our bodies and respond accordingly is paramount.
If you have further questions about the range of classes we offer or would like to learn more about yoga please reach out and say hi!
Hope to see you on the mat soon!