Yoga is a way of Being. Not something we DO.
In today’s world, it’s so easy to get caught up in our hectic lives always running from here to there, planning for the next hour or day, and giving little thought to the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I see yogini’s rushing frantically into class only to rush out just as quickly. I always chuckle to myself thinking, ‘we rush to yoga and rush to leave it’. Isn’t that an oxymoron? We don’t mean to! That’s just how our lives are set up. We have a ton going on and very little time to do it. But your power hour of centering yoga doesn’t have to end in the studio. Here’s five simple ways to bring yoga into your daily life, living yoga off the mat.
The moment your eyes flutter open in the morning, bring your hands in Pranamasana (prayer hands in front of your heart) and give a prayer of gratitude for anything! Whatever comes to mind (your breath, your family, the fact that you woke up). Just sincerely and soulfully give recognition and gratitude for your blessings and try to touch in with that heart space throughout your day.
Everything! Become the observer, the witness. As you go throughout your day, when you find yourself being reactive and emotional, take a step back, inhale, and witness. Ask yourself what am I reacting to? How can I respond to this as opposed to reacting to it? This is an incredibly powerful shift!
Yes, I said breathe. In a previous post I wrote how many of us take our breath for granted. We breathe short shallow breaths, which over time, leads to anxiety, stress, even pulmonary weakness. As often as you can throughout the day (set a timer on your phone if you need to) pause for 60 seconds, yes you can spare 60 seconds, and witness your breath. Close your eyes, place one hand on the center of your belly and take equal inhalation and exhalations breathing slow soulful yogi breaths in your belly. Do this regularly and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your stress level plummets!
Be mindful of your intention.
Be aware of your intention behind every thought, every word, and every action. What are you hoping to cultivate from each action? That is your intention. Be mindful that you’re making decisions with the purest of intentions. Everything we think, say, and do comes from one of two places: fear or love. Make sure your intentions come from a place of love. This ensures love and good vibes not only for yourself but for those around you. Win-win!
Be of service.
This can be to yourself one day and a stranger the next. Allow your intuition to guide you. But each day be of service to someone. Weave kindness and compassion into your daily life, whether it’s being kind to yourself by resting when you need it, bringing a neighbor’s trash can in, or donating your time. The choices are endless but make it a goal, in some way, to be of service to someone daily.
There you have it! Five beautiful and simple ways to live yoga and continue feeling those good vibrations from your practice on the mat off the mat!