How to Use Yoga to Create Space in Your Day
If you are just starting your exploration of yoga, you might have experienced that “just woke up” feeling after a yoga class, even if it’s evening or in the middle of the day. Yoga has an amazing benefit of refreshing the mind and energizing the body, which can be extra beneficial if you are looking for that extra boost at a time of day where you struggle.
As you develop your own personal daily yoga practice, you might experiment with using yoga as a way to exit one aspect of the day and enter into the next. Kind of like a page break for your day.
Here are some examples of how yoga can create some space in your day:
Yoga To Start Your Day
This is a common practice for yogis around the world. You wake up, brush your teeth, and get on the mat. It feels amazing to wake up the body using movement and breath. Afterwards, you hop in the shower and zoom out to the rest of your day, focused and ready.
This doesn’t work for everybody, however. Some people simply cannot function without caffeine and a little time to stare out the window. I am one of these people. I have read so many times that a morning routine is important to feel successful during the day and I used to beat myself up for skipping a morning yoga practice. Then I forgave myself. I allowed myself time to drink coffee and play with my cat. Then I get on my mat. And I rock the day.
Yoga to re-energize you at lunch
When you are the kind of person who jumps out of bed and straight into clothes and runs out of the door (this used to be me when I worked my corporate job) then a lunchtime practice might be a good fit for you. You shut your office door (or go into the conference room or courtyard, or wherever) and get your yoga jam on. When I was the office manager for a doctor, we closed our doors for lunch. I would do my yoga in the lobby, then eat my lunch as I got ready for the afternoon shift. This is perfect for people who start to fade in the afternoon. After a yoga session as short as 15 minutes, if you fully commit to it, you should be revived and ready to go.
In fact, some workplaces now offer lead yoga classes for employees during lunch or break times. More and more employers are opening their eyes to the benefits of yoga to their workers’ happiness and productivity.
Yoga to Shut Down the "Work Brain"
But Viviane, you say, I work from home serving others and I am at it all day long. As soon as I get up, I am answering emails, I work through lunch and I only stop when the family gets home.
Well, friend, then taking a yoga break at the end of the day may be a good option for you. I had a private student who used the yoga we practiced as a way to end her work day and enter into her family time fully present and engaged. This a beautiful way to bring yoga into your life. It’s like turning off the light as you leave a room and turning on another when you enter a new room. You might consider setting an alarm to turn off your computer 20 minutes earlier and rolling out your mat. Spending that time honoring yourself in the present moment can create a feeling of refreshment as you leave the business aspect of your day and move fully and completely into time with the ones you love.
Yoga to End Your Day and Sleep Better
Lastly, we look at a very popular form of yoga practice. It is well documented that yoga improves sleep quality and it may be that the best time for you to practice is at the end of the day, right before you lay down your head for some much-deserved rest.
Bedtime yoga is a very relaxing and restorative practice that can have lasting effects even on the following day and your energy as you wake up. It also serves to prepare your mind and slow down your thoughts, letting the day’s activities go so you can truly rest and replenish.
Anytime you practice yoga and are fully present on your mat is the right time. Anytime you need to flip the switch in your day from one activity or aspect to another, yoga can help you transition smoothly and calmly.
I hope this helps you find ways to move through your day with more ease.