The idea of practicing yoga and meditation on a regular basis might seem unmanageable or unappealing to you, but hear me out.
I know that both yoga and meditation have a reputation for being “crunchy,” complex, and overly spiritual, but they don’t have to be. They also don’t have to be long routines that require an hour and a dedicated studio to complete. The truth is that if you have a few spare minutes in your day, you have plenty of time to benefit from both yoga and meditation.
Yoga is a great, low-impact way to stretch, tone, and strengthen your entire body, and meditation is a useful skill that can help you learn how to quickly cope with stressful situations.
Here’s Why You Should Add Yoga into Your Life
1. It grounds you in the moment
Regardless of whether you do a short meditation session or a full mat sequence, yoga forces you to focus on your immediate reality.
Your world is temporarily reduced to proper breathing and moving your body smoothly, and this is really helpful for shaking yourself out of a cycle of worrying about future problems or feeling overwhelmed by the day.
2. It’s an act of self-care
Yes, self-care is a trendy topic right now, but it’s also an important part of staying healthy. Self-care isn’t just indulging in treats, adding extra skin care steps, or shopping for yourself (even though I support all of these things in moderation!).
Sometimes it’s small things like allowing yourself 10 minutes of calm breathing or completing a short workout video from YouTube or Instagram.
3. It helps with feelings of stress
Yoga and meditation shouldn’t replace therapy or medication, but they are both great ways to take a little more control of any stress, anxiety, or depression that you might struggle with.
Physical activity is always helpful for lowering stress levels and improving circulation, but yoga also helps you learn how to do things like modulate your breathing, lower your heart rate, and decrease your blood pressure.
(If you want to read more, this research study has lots of in-depth information!)
4. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment
Nobody gives adults gold star stickers or dollar store prizes for getting things done, even though I personally think that they should.
However, I’ve learned that I get the same sense of excited accomplishment when I can finally do a pose that used to be too difficult or sit through an entire meditation session without letting my mind wander. I love how something that’s good for me can also give me visible markers of progress and accomplishment, and it pushes me to keep going.
5 Easy Ways To Incorporate Yoga & Meditation Into Your Day
1. Remember that whatever you do is enough
It’s easy to talk yourself out of doing a quick bit of yoga or meditation because it’s “not enough.”
Truthfully, any time that you put toward your mental and physical health is “enough.” If you only have a minute while you’re microwaving lunch, practice mindful breathing. If you’re home and waiting for a conference call to start, just one downward dog or warrior pose is enough. Remember that all of the small moments add up!
2. Keep your yoga space prepared
If possible, keep your mat unrolled or the space you like to practice in clear of clutter. Any little thing that you can do to remove the obstacles between you and your yoga practice will help you to take advantage of the time you have in a day.
3. Try “office yoga” or “kid yoga”
Whether you’re a busy mom, a busy career woman, or both, trying to squeeze in yoga, meditation, or basically anything for yourself can feel impossible, right?
Do you work long hours? Try bringing a mat to your workspace for stretch breaks. If that’s not feasible, there are also a lot of “office yoga” and chair yoga poses that you can try! Chair yoga is often talked about as an option for seniors or people with mobility issues, but it’s great for anyone who is stuck in a small workspace, too.
For moms of young children, try to get some mat time by including them in your practice. Teaching them how to do planks or downward dog is, in my experience, a funny and unique workout.
My toddler niece’s favorite thing to do now is mountain climbers with me or mom while listening to pop music (or “Let It Go”), and honestly the energy she has always makes me laugh and feel a little more motivated!
4. Meditate in the shower
Sometimes, the shower is literally the only place where nobody bothers me. Try giving yourself five extra minutes under the hot water to practice calming breaths.
If you need music or white noise to drown out kids, pets, or roommates, there are a ton of inexpensive waterproof Bluetooth speaker options out there. I have one, and the combination of meditative music and hot water is extremely relaxing.
5. Stay accountable
Keep a calendar (on paper or in an app!) with a feasible goal for yourself. This could be practicing at least one pose each day, committing to three minutes of daily quiet meditation or completing two full yoga sessions each week.
Whatever your goal is, write it out and share it. Friends, family members, or even like-minded social media acquaintances can be wonderfully supportive when it comes to keeping commitments that you make to yourself.
I’m prone to talking myself out of doing yoga for lots of reasons. However, I’ve found a group of like-minded friends who all share their progress and encourage each other over big and small accomplishments, and it has pushed me to keep moving toward the goals I’ve set even when I don’t feel like it.
Just Do It!
Yoga is a great way to add physical activity to your day, regardless of how busy it is. You don’t have to get sweaty, and even a few minutes here and there can add up to lasting mental and physical change.
You don’t have to be super flexible, spiritual, or “crunchy” to practice yoga or meditation, so don’t let your brain talk you out of doing something simple and beneficial for yourself!