In today’s world of fifteen minute abs and diet pills, starting a healthy, physical exercise routine can be daunting. Between work, the kids’ soccer practice, dance recitals, and making dinner, who has the time to dedicate to a yoga practice. It’s hard enough to try and find time for a morning run, let a lone an hour to do yoga.
Well, first things first. You don’t need an hour! One can get the complete benefits of an hour long practice in a 15-20 minute time frame. The only caveat is one must be completely focused on their practice during that time.
The first thing you need to do when starting a yoga practice is learn to focus on the breath. By focusing on the breath, you will be able to be more present. As you move through each pose, allow your mind to wander as it naturally does in the moment, but bring it back to the breath. Focus on your breathing and you’ll find your mind will open and your body will start to relax. Try taking a few minutes out of your day and just focus on your breathing. Move from short breaths to longer, deeper breaths. See how that feels in your body, feel the changes in your muscles and joints. Really focus on how the change in breathing affects different parts of your body.
Another issue that always comes up is the poses. If you don’t feel like you’re a flexible person, yoga can be an intimidating activity. Trying to balance on your shoulders or your head can seem pretty impossible if you’re having a hard time simply sitting with your legs crossed. This is the vicious cycle that we fall into, we aren’t flexible so we don’t think we can even make an attempt at doing something that may help us become more flexible. The great thing about yoga is that there are poses and modifications for ALL LEVELS! If it’s your first class or if it is your 100th class, you CAN do yoga. If attempting to do your first downward facing dog hurts or feels uncomfortable, put your knees down. It’s okay! The goal of yoga isn’t to get into a specific pose, the goal is to create space, to release tension, and to open up your mind. Don’t judge yourself based on the person next to you in a yoga class, focus on yourself.
If going to a yoga studio is too intimidating, that’s okay too. There are so many great videos on YouTube or Yoga Social websites like DoYouYoga.com. They have series and single flow series. You can find pretty much any type of yoga routine you’re looking for, from the very basics to the most advanced!
So take a deep breath and dive in! You’ll never regret it!