It has been a big, busy month in this yogi's life!
At the beginning of the month, I completed the 5-day Miracle of Meditation retreat led by my friend Jeff Carreira where I had the opportunity to offer daily yoga classes to the participants.
The following weekend, I traveled to my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario to celebrate my marriage to the amazing Steve Haase (shameless wedding photo included here). We had a small legal ceremony last fall, but knew it would be more powerful to say our vows and bask in the love of family and friends to make our union official. And boy, was it fun!
This week also marks the beginning of my last trimester where I am experiencing the most obscure internal sensations of my life. I can't tell if this little one is practicing her high kicks or somersaults, but she sure is busy!
With all of these wonderful things happening, I will also admit it has been a struggle to keep up with my yoga practice. Between traveling, hours of wedding prep, and my belly getting bigger by the day, my personal yoga routine has been reduced and some days even edged out in favour of my "to-do" list or some much needed extra sleep.
You have probably experienced this at times in your own life.
First, it is important to recognize that temporary changes in routine happen and you need not beat yourself up if you can't fit in your yoga practice for legitimate reasons. However, if you let your practice slide for too long, you might find yourself in the habit of never making it to your mat at all.
How to Make Room For Practice
1. Reset in Person
If you find yourself making a goal to practice every other day and then two weeks go by without you unrolling your mat, you may be due for a reset. Personally, I knew that after the retreat ended at the beginning of the month I was walking into a full two weeks of travel and preparation for an epic weekend full of wedding fun.
I knew my yoga routine would go sideways so before I left, I signed up for a local 2 day yoga retreat with the inspirational Barbara Benagh. It is a huge relief to know I don't need to wrestle myself back on the mat since I will be spending 8 hours with a master teacher this weekend.
2. Study at Home
If you don't live near a beloved teacher, instead rejoice that you live in a world full of virtual offerings. There are many great courses out there to help you get inspired from the comfort of your own home. In fact, my course on Udemy is about to launch and it is designed not only to teach you more about Yin Yang yoga (my fav) but also gives an entire section on creating and sustaining your home practice.
The course includes a full length video to walk you through one of my Yin Yang yoga routines and highlights some core theory on the Five Elements you won't find anywhere else.
3. Yoga Is Not All Or Nothing
Recommitting to the mat—whether you study with a teacher or practice on your own—doesn't need to be an all or nothing game. Trying to churn out a 90-minute practice after you have been away from your routine for a while isn't just asking for failure, it may actually be unsafe to do depending on what style of yoga you are working with. If life is busy, pick a reasonable length of practice that feels supportive to your day.
Remember no one is handing out medals for how exhausted you can make yourself.
A few sun salutations may be all you have time for in the morning, or perhaps legs up the wall for five minutes before bed is more suitable today. You will find it much easier to maintain a consistent yoga practice in the long term if you do at least a little bit each day rather than skip practice entirely because you can't devote two full hours to your routine.
The words to live by when it comes to busy life and practice is that some yoga is 100% better than no yoga at all.
Now I want to know, how do you make time for practice when life gets busy?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Jon Haase