By Kirsty Gallagher
You’ve probably all seen the hashtag somewhere on social media. Usually alongside beautiful super bendy yogis displaying awe inspiring asana practices – which are truly inspirational and show us what is possible if you dedicate to practicing #yogaeverydamnday. We also need to remember though that yoga is far more than just asana and there are many, many ways you can make your yoga practice part of your everyday life. Sometimes it’s in taking our yoga off our mats and into our world that the biggest shifts and changes take place. Here are just 5 ways that no matter what your situation you can live your #yogaeverydamnday
1) Practice mindfulness
Our time on our mats is there to teach us; to teach us patience, compassion, persistence, dedication, self-belief, kindness to name just a few. So it surely makes sense that to live our yoga we need to take these qualities off our mats and into our lives. Make a concerted effort to show these qualities in your day to day life and live mindfully. Notice what triggers you and instead of automatically reacting step back and choose to be kind. Ignore all the little voices that tell you you can’t and find the self-belief you need to follow a great opportunity or big dream. Be aware and conscious of all of your actions, this is yoga.
2) Take a quiet moment
I know the word meditation fills many people with pre conceived ideas, dread or protestations of ‘I can’t meditate’ so why not instead just take a few moments each day to be in silence. Sit somewhere comfortably, take a few deeps breaths and allow yourself some time out to simply BE. These few moments done every day will allow inspiration to flood in, stress to be released and will transform your life in so many beneficial ways.
I know that we breathe all day every day or we wouldn’t be here! But I mean really breathe! Most of us don’t breathe properly at all meaning that we are denying ourselves the full spectrum of life available to us. On days when asana practice just isn’t possible Pranayama (nadi shodhan, ujayi or three part breath are good ones to begin with) works perfectly well to help you stay in your yogic flow. Otherwise you could try a few full deep mindful breaths once or twice a day, feeling the life force (prana) within you and allowing the breath to infuse your body, calm your mind and warm your heart.
4) Get out in nature
Nature is one of our greatest healers and teachers. As the word yoga itself means complete, union and connectedness with everything it makes total sense to me that yoga is nature and nature is yoga. Time in nature helps us to know that we are alive and part of something greater. Nature teaches us just about everything we need to know about how to be strong, let go, release and go with the flow, you never see nature pushing, pulling and struggling. Step outside, plant your feet on the earth, take a deep breath and feel that yoga (union) with everything around you.
5) Start a self-practice
Ok, we can’t ignore asana altogether! What a self-practice does for you though is put you in control of when, where and what your practice consists of. An hour long morning vinyasa flow or ashtanga practice when you are feeling full of life or a half an hour evening yin or restorative practice after a long hard day or when you need to be nourished. You may not have time for a class that day, but even 15 minutes of self-practice will make the greatest difference to your mind-set and how you feel.
Checkout these upcoming retreats with Kirsty: