Dear Yogi Marlon,
I’ve heard that it is better to do a little yoga every day, than a long session once or twice a week. During the week my work schedule takes precedence, so time often does not allow for a class or video. What do you suggest?
Beverly Hills, CA
You are correct. A little yoga every day cultivates a practice that is growing, as opposed to one that merely maintains a plateau. If we embody the Tantric approach to yoga in particular, we continually strive for a practice that is a force for personal growth and spiritual evolution. Conversely, being a “weekend warrior” in any physically demanding practice can make you more susceptible to injury.
No doubt, your profession is stressful and creates tremendous demands of your time. It would be antithetical to yoga if we allowed the lack of opportunity to practice, to be another source of stress. There are practical solutions I’ve created for myself that I am happy to share with you. They are great tension tamers. For instance, I take one long slow ujjayi breath (slow deliberate inhales and exhales that draw the breath against the back of the throat) before each and every time I pick up the phone. I do the same at each red light. If I am stuck in traffic, I do a longer pranayama practice. I silently repeat a [mantra] when I’m waiting in line, instead of tapping my toe impatiently. By the time it’s my turn, I’m usually grateful for the momentary break in my day.
For the more physical aspects of yoga, set a timer for 5 minutes and do one single [posture]according to the desired effect and the list below. Five minutes will seem like an eternity. One friend and teacher brilliantly calls it “moving into stillness”. If you focus on watching the mind, and seeing how your mood and body changes several times within that time frame, I think you will be amazed what just 5 minutes can do.
· Morning Wake-up: Downward Facing Dog [Adho Muhka Svanasana] http://askyogimarlon.com/asana_down_dog.html
· Rejuvenate/Re-energize: Flat on your back with legs extended up the wall. Adding a pillow that props your middle and upper back into an arch is even better
· Nervous to Calm: Should Stand (Salamba Sarvangaasana)
· Angry to Calm: Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottasana) or
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) with arms folded and hanging
· Stiff Neck Tamer: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) with hands clasped behind back, straighten arms and reach toward the floor
Yogi Marlon’s monthly yoga advice column is available free to approved websites. If you would like this content automatically inserted into your website every month, you can find out about getting it by Clicking here.