"The time we take is the only time we have"
When we can begin to understand that we do not have to take hours to accomplish a self care goal, taking time gets a whole lot easier.
Time is a luxury.
One we abuse with a "have it right now" mentality while simultaneously complaining that we do not have enough of it. Living in an on-demand world means that when we have to take time to get dressed, find someone to watch the kids, drive 30 minutes to a yoga class, take the class, drive home and all the while feel relaxed about the 2 hours that we just took to ourselves... we struggle to take the time. We then use "I am just so busy" as an excuse to why we do not do more of the "right" things, AKA things we want to do. Essentially many of us are frozen in this state.
Let's take a moment and be serious... look at your daily screen time usage and tell me that you didn't have time to carve out last week. It doesn't have to be an hour or two, it can just be 30 minutes.. or even 15, but I want you to look at the time you spent on your phone and consider the time you could've spent doing something better for yourself than the continuous scroll.
Now, all that said, I do not have time to insert regular yoga class attendance into my weeks. BUT, I do have time to insert 10-15 minute practices that can accomplish more than most hour-long yoga sessions.
And this is what I want to talk to you about today... optimizing your time to give yourself what you need and maximize your results. Read that again.
For starters, a good yoga practice is not defined by a generalized time stamp of 1 hour. A good breath work practice, however, is more likely to be defined / successful when done for certain periods of time.But rarely does that need to be an hour. Now when we pair yoga and breath work into a shorter session we are "killing two birds with one stone" and doing something for the symmetry of our nervous system.
HERE IS HOW:Asana, (the physical practice of postures), is excellent for flexibility, strength, decreasing restlessness, improving posture, decreasing chronic pain, improving cognition, increasing energy, and overall creating balance in the body. When I say balance I mean between right and left, top and bottom, front and back of the body. Through a variety of movements, physical goals especially can be reached.
Pranayama, (the practice of breathing), is good for creating a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. This will decrease stress, improve sleep, improve your body's response to chronic pain, increase energy, and help bring awareness and eventually balance to your emotional landscape.
Knowing those two simple things I think you can begin to understand why they are both very important and how moving the body in time to the breath during a shorter practice could offer you a better alternative to an hour-long class.
This is not a "do more to get more" approach. But rather a compounding of practices to help you target your daily needs while also managing your time.
Next topic... Goals
We all know that when we put larger goals like 3 - 1 hour yoga classes a week or daily breath work practices into our schedule, we are less likely to actually do that as opposed to saying "I will do a single 15-minute practice this week".
It is a rare few that can set such lofty goals and achieve them without first building up a deeper desire to reach the goal. Scale back your goals to what is truly doable for you. After all, you are much more likely to hit that 3 hours of yoga per week goal if you are looking at slowly building up the time you take to dedicate to practice.
In addition, I find it very helpful to understand why what I am doing is going to matter and make a difference as opposed to going through the motions blindly. Knowledge can help with intention and intention will help the efficacy of the practice. So the next time that you have a desire to do a practice, I suggest hitting some short yoga practices that have ratio'd breath work built in.
I know that the details can often seem boring or redundant, and nerding out on them is not everyones favorite thing to do. That is why I am here. To help you understand the details of how your practice can become better and better over time.
We will chat more next week on setting goals to achieve more regular and targeted practices.