by Iva deMartelly
Often Asana, or the physical practice of yoga, is where all the focus is placed in the western world. However, Asana is only one of 8 branches of yoga, and even when we can’t find time to fit a class in our busy schedules, it doesn’t mean we can’t find other ways to practice our yoga off the mat!
Deep and mindful breathing, “Pranayama” can be an amazing stress relief, and practiced pretty much anywhere! An easy beginner’s way to practice Pranayama is to inhale on the count of five, hold for a few seconds, and then inhale on the count of ten. This is an excellent stress reliever and helps rid the body of stale air and tension!
2. Yoga Nidra
If you are having issues with insomnia, or trouble sleeping, or even just anxiety I HIGHLY recommend Yoga Nidra. It is essentially a guided meditation where you focus on manifesting a specific goal or achievement in your life. You think of this goal, and focus on it as you begin the extremely relaxing meditation. You can use the track I used at my yoga teacher training here with my fabulous teacher Banyan Gallagher!
Meditation can fit into any schedule, and the more fidgety people out there (me included!) can even practice a walking meditation! If you struggle with meditation like I do, try meditating outdoors in a place that is peaceful and quiet. When anxiety or quick paced thoughts make your mind race, try pretending that you are observing the thoughts instead of processing them. Instead of clinging on to them, let them pass through your mind.
Mindfulness is a word we see thrown around a lot- but how do you really define such a broad term? Try practicing mindfulness in baby steps- turn off the TV while you eat, try having all your friends put their phones in a pile when you are spending time together, and focus on completing one task before beginning another.
Those who know me know that stretching is one of my favorite things ever- and while it’s not exactly considered a part of Yogic Philosophy, I think it is an amazing nightly ritual and a great asset to both your physical practice and your workout routine! If you don’t have time to workout, fitting in even just 10 minutes to stretch will relax you, do amazing things for your body, and prep you to get back on the mat tomorrow!
Happy Summer Yogis! Give your dad a hug!
The Shake It® team