Yoga doesn’t always need to be something you do, only at a group class or following a YouTube video. You can take your practice off the mat and into your daily routine! If you’ve been struggling to commit to a regular time slot to stretch and unwind, then stop feeling bad about it and see what you can do – what’s practical and realistic for you to maintain so you can reap the benefits. There are ways to practice yoga you may not have thought about
Toothbrush Vrksasana (Tree pose)
Every morning and evening you need to brush your teeth. It’s part of your daily routine, and so a great time to ‘add on’ a little extra to increase the benefits. Sparkling teeth and more core strength/better balance here you come!
Stand in front of the bathroom sink, feet hip width distance apart. Get your toothpaste ready on your toothbrush and bring your hands to your hips. Fix your gaze on one point and lean over to your right leg. Raise your left heel and open your knee out to the side, keeping your hips facing forward. Place the sole of your left foot on your right inner ankle or thigh. Press the two together gently. Engage your thighs and draw your navel to spine. Start brushing your teeth and feel your collarbones wide, chest open and place your right hand on your hip or extend to ceiling finding the branches of your tree, with the shoulder blade on your back.
Hold for 1 minute on either leg.
Benefit: improves balance, strengthens your legs and core
Modification: Place your heel on inner ankle and keep the toes on the bathroom mat or slip-free surface for stability. You can place your opposite hand on a wall for balance.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Stretch) on Wall
Whilst waiting for your pasta to boil or the veggies to soften, take a back and neck releaser. Place your hands on a wall and walk back around a leg’s distance so your torso is parallel with the kitchen floor and you’re in a flipped over L shape. Press your palms and fingers into the wall and lengthen your spine, creating one line from the crown of your head to your tailbone. Draw your navel to spine so your lower back doesn’t collapse and feel the length in the sides of your torso and down the back of your legs.
Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Benefit: stretches the shoulders, spine and legs, relieves lower back pain
Tip: If you’re struggling with regular Downward Dog pose, practise this variation for less pressure on the hands and wrists.
Upavistha Konasana (Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold)
In the evening, when you’re enjoying some tele time, slot in a yoga pose. Come to seated on the carpet and open your legs a comfortable wide distance apart, where you can still sit tall from the sit bones to the crown of your head (feel free to put a folded blanket under your hips) and feel a stretch in your inner legs and hips. Bring your hands in front of you and inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, hinge forward from your hips walking your fingers forward, like a spider. Keep your heart reaching forward, back long. Inhale, spider-walk your fingers back toward you, sitting tall.
Repeat 3 rounds and hold for 3-5 breaths placing your hands on carpet or holding your ankles or big toes.
Benefit: stretches the inner thighs and hamstrings, opens the hips
Modification: Try placing folded cushions under your knees if hamstrings or lower back are tight to maintain a long spine.
How did you get on? Was it manageable? Do you think you can fit a bit of yoga into your daily routine? Explore ways of bringing yoga to you, at home, in the office and out and about!