The sun’s out; everyone’s in shorts; and the kids have finished school; holiday time is here. But with the change in routine from the term-time schedule of school runs and yoga classes, comes the risk for me of letting the yoga practice slip. True confession: yoga teachers can lack self-discipline.
We know we always feel better on the days we do get to the mat, but with regular classes on hold and house full of children, it can seem almost impossible to find the space and tranquility we need. Even when we’re packing for holidays, a yoga mat seems to take up a lot of space in the suitcase.
So here are my tips for keeping your yoga going, even though your weekly class is taking a break, or you’re heading off to the beach.
1. Keep it short
Promise yourself 10 minutes. You can find 10 minutes can’t you? Plonk the kids in front of the telly; set the alarm 10 minutes early; sneak off and say you’re going to the loo… You’d be surprised how often once you get started, 10 minutes turns into 20… or 30… Here are seven 10-minute yoga sessions for you to download.
2. Practise what you really love
You probably have a particular pose or sequence that you currently love the most. Just treat yourself to that once a day. And did I mention how often 10 minutes turns into 20…?
3. Yoga mat not required
I’ve practised in bare feet on sand, in walking-boots halfway up a mountain, and in the narrow space down the side of a youth hostel bed. Just choose poses that suit your space and environment. If a floor is too hard, put down a blanket; if a surface is slippy, avoid standing poses. Missing your yoga blocks? Sit on a rock or a chair. Yoga’s not about the kit – it’s a willingness to be with what is.
4. Don’t practise every day, unless….
… you want to feel good every day! You know it works. So why choose to feel tired, stressed or sluggish, when you could be feeling calm, refreshed and ready for what the day has to throw at you.
5. Do it for them
It’s really hard to look after other people’s needs, if your own needs are not being met. If you’re the kind of person who finds it hard to put your own needs first – don’t. Just do your yoga practice for everyone else in your life. You’ll be kinder, calmer and more capable.
Just in case you missed it, here are those seven ten-minute yoga sessions to download and do at home. Now where did I put my mat?