from the blog

3 Yoga Things You Should Practice Every Day (that take 5 mins)

For most of us, practising Yoga for an hour or more every. single. day is just not going to happen.  We all know that the more we practice, the more benefits we reap, but that doesn’t mean we have the time to sow.

There are, however, some quick and simple things to do in between classes that will make a huge difference to your body and wellbeing and these CAN be done every day.

1. Stretch out your shoulders

Almost all of us accumulate tension around the neck, shoulders and upper back by using a computer, carrying heavy things (like bags and babies) and by simply stressing out.  Use “waiting” time to stretch out your shoulders – waiting in the sushi queue, waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for your turn in the bathroom.

Here’s a video of an easy little sequence that will stretch out almost all the muscle groups in that area of your body.

2. Notice your breath

Yes, Yoga teachers ramble on and on about breathing.  There’s a reason.  It’s powerful.

Spending a couple of minutes a day noticing your breath can be life changing, even though you might not notice it right away.   At the very least, you’re going to learn how to get into the present moment – a critical tool for achieving that seemingly-elusive inner peace.  You might also find that it’s easier to make decisions, come back from a bad mood and settle your nerves.  Chances are, simply noticing your breath will help it to flow more smoothly and deeply, bringing a host of physical health benefits.

(Warning: once you’ve done a couple of minutes, you might want to keep going.  If so, check out our Learn to Meditate Course.)

3. Work on your posture

Aside from the breath, your posture probably impacts your mood more than anything else.  (Well, maybe hormones comes near the top of that particular list as well.)

Suggested ways to work on your posture:

  • practice chair pose (Utkatasana) or mountain pose (Tadasana) while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil (chair pose if you’re at work and want to spike your colleagues’ intrigue)
  • sit on the floor with good posture while watching TV or reading (it might take a while to be comfortable for a full 5 minutes – stick with it)
  • notice your posture while sitting in the car, on the bus, at your desk and use your core muscles to help you lengthen your spine into natural alignment

Of course, having good posture, breathing consciously and carrying less stress in your muscles will help balance your hormones, too :)

Let me know how these work out for you and share any of your own tips in the comments below!

Rachel Pereira

Rachel Pereira

Peace, love + Yoga,

Rachel

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