I'm writing this because I need to hear it. With energy to give and technology to help me do things faster, I tend to say yes to everyone and everything until I'm up to me ears in deadlines and emails.
Because I like to keep my word if I've made promises, and I don't function well when the house is a mess, sadly I'll choose the email inbox or loading the dishwasher over my practice when things really pile up.
I know I am not alone. Most of us have the pressure to put food on the table, pay bills, and if you're a parent, saving to put your kids through college. So if the choice comes down to working or mat time, work will often win.
Enter the hamster wheel effect, a downward spiral of work dominating your life, your practice going to pot, getting out of yoga shape, and in the end not producing at the level we could be!
We all know that a yoga practice makes us more productive, easier to be around, grounded in our decisions, and guided from a place of deep authenticity. In 2014, the word "haters" was written into the lyrics of a Taylor Swift song - hating has become a phenomenon! Ahhh, but yoga when practiced regularly (and practiced intelligently), helps us live in our hearts so we can be quite simply, a "liker". Kindness these days is on the endangered species list and needs our protection!
Despite knowing exactly what a yoga practice will do for me and the people I love, I've sometimes chosen what seems so all important in the moment over even the shortest practice.
Yeah, I've been addicted to crisis and busyness, and it's time to shift. Sure, my preference would be to practice for at least 90 minutes or the luxury of even more, but a yoga practice need not be a long, drawn out time sucker - even 10 minutes yields big results. And it's certainly better than no practice at all.
Here are the steps I'm using this month to stick to my sticky mat!
1. See your yoga mat? Choose a strategic spot to store it that is nearby an open floor space so it can easily be unrolled swiftly and put down on the open space.
2. When you get dressed in the morning, put on either yoga clothes or something as close to stretchy/comfy as possible so you can't use your outfit as an excuse not to bend!
3. It does not matter what time of day it is. Stop everything you're doing and roll out the mat. Set a timer for 10 minutes. If you have an iphone you can even tell Siri, "Set a timer for 10 minutes" and she'll do it. This is literally #stopanddrop yoga except you don't need to take a selfie - you're going to do a whole practice!
4. Get on your mat and play for those 10 minutes. Either do your own solo practice, or use the search feature on YogaGlo to cue up a ten minute class (they have hundreds of them but I've curated a list of my favorites below)*. When the timer is up notice if you're in the mood to do a little more and if so, stay a while.
5. When you're done, give yourself a high five for doing a great practice instead of beating yourself up for not doing a longer session. (Positive reinforcement is key!). Roll up your mat, and put it back in the strategic spot for tomorrow. When you return to your day, take a moment to notice how the practice has shifted you in your body, your mind, and your spirit.
6. Lastly, make a list of things you can say no to each week and consider politely declining some opportunities to allow yourself more time for you.
In our 30 Day Yoga Challenge on Facebook this month, we're practicing a minimum of 10 minutes of yoga a day the whole month of January. Please join us if you're moved! My hunch is that those 10 minutes will become 12, 15, 20, 30 and eventually 45 minutes or more.
Please leave a comment below to let us know how you stick to your sticky mat!
* Here are some of my favorite ten minute online practices on YogaGlo:
Maintain Your Yoga Shape, Amy Ippoliti Morning Oil for Tin Men & Women, Amy Ippoliti Bliss Blast, Amy Ippoliti Wake Up Rock Star, Taylor Harkness When You Only Have Ten Minutes, Marla Apt Short and Sweet, Kathryn Budig Reboot Your Brain, Marc Holzman Ten Postures, Ten Minutes, Jason Crandell Reboot, Mary Taylor