Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just hard to get to class. Whether you live far away from a studio, or you have a crazy schedule, getting to the yoga studio to keep a regular practice can be a challenge in today’s time-crunched world. Almost every day I hear students lament about not having enough time. I was one of them. Here are some of the ways I’ve tried to cope with that challenge.
making the commitment
First, I had to make a commitment to myself. Mine was, “I will do yoga every day. ” No matter what, no matter where, no matter for how little or for how long, no excuses. That’s really the most important step. I always keep in mind and constantly remind myself how essential yoga is to my mental and physical well-being. I understand that yoga, the savior of my personal health, is the greatest gift I can give to myself and my family.
nurture a home practice
While I know there’s no substitute for the energy of a real class with a teacher and in the company of my fellow yogis, I don’t always have to think of my yoga practice in terms of a formal class. I probably practice at home as much or more than I do in the studio. A practice at home is really where the commitment comes in. Home is where I am most of the time, so it makes real sense to nurture a practice there. There are no excuses. “Can’t make it to a class” doesn’t matter anymore. The whole world has become my yoga studio.
write it down
Keeping a written or cyber calender is essential for me. I take it week by week, you can do it bi-weekly or maybe month by month, whatever is most realistic for you. First, I decide on what days I can make it to a class, maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Then I look at the other days. I ask myself when and how much can I do on those days. Many days I do a standing series early in the morning, about 30 minutes. Quite a few evenings, I do a series of floor poses before dinner or some hip openers on the floor, or a spontaneous movement practice while I’m watching a movie. If it’s a real hectic day I just do 10 minutes of yoga here and there, maybe some pranayama breathing in the car. The other day I did some standing poses and a whole series of standing backbends outside the car dealership where I was waiting for an oil change. Whatever I end up doing, I’m honoring my commitment.
the new reality
I think you’ll find there’s lots of time for yoga. I did. I look at my schedule now and see all these little time slots where I can stretch a bit. Just use your common sense, and if you need some ideas about poses or sequencing just ask your teacher. We teachers love to talk about yoga, and we’ll be happy to help you any way we can. There’s also tons of info online and in yoga publications. Be inventive, be a little flexible…and don’t forget to BREATHE!
I started my yoga practice in the year 2000 after sustaining a serious injury. I was 48 years old at the time, and, after a lifetime of abusing my body through team sports, lifting weights and running, I decided it was time to pursue a more realistic exercise program. For the first year and a half, I cultivated a home practice, faithfully doing a hot yoga series in various heated bathrooms, garages and attics. Once I found a studio, I jumped into a regular practice, which I continue to this day. I became a Bikram certified teacher in 2009, and have taught yoga in Sarasota, the Northeast, and the Evolation studio in Tampa Bay. Teaching yoga is my full time occupation. I am also on the Evolation teacher training faculty and I feel really fortunate to be involved in the process of training new teachers. I'm just about to turn 62, and I'm in the best shape of my life — physically,mentally, and spiritually. One of my goals is to get more people my age practicing yoga.