As part of a business challenge this week, I’ve been evaluating my working day – frequently so busy it’s a smoothie for lunch (yet again!) and often fairly unpredictable! On one day last week, I wasn’t sure if I had any bookings at all, all were dependent on whether babies had arrived or not, or on childcare arrangements…. I could have had three visits, or none (in the event, there were 2!) From a business point of view, it can be hard to plan ahead, aside from the definites such as group classes. It can be hard to know for sure when the downtime will be, when there’ll be time for accounts, marketing, writing this blog…and even eating!
But I won’t bore you with the business side. What about the yoga? What about making that time for myself (that I’m always banging on about for those I work with!)? For every one of my students who builds up a daily practice, there must be at least another ten who just don’t know how that could ever be possible.
So, it’s all about discipline – but also flexibility. My work schedule means that often things will crop up unexpectedly, or, at times, cancellations happen and I can seize the moment rather than wasting that time. I have discipline in my morning routine – waking early to fit in my first practice of the day: a little movement – activations, energy block release (EBR) sequence, perhaps a posture or two – and then meditation to set me up for the day. I really need to have this time: despite all the hours of teaching I do each week, my own practice is a time to work on the things I need the most. Without it, it’s hard to function at my best for the rest of the day.
Throughout the remainder of the day, it’s the flexibility that helps. Yes, it would be great to stop and practise yoga whenever I felt like it – but that’s not the reality of my life! So, instead of writing off the whole day if I don’t have an hour to set aside, I might spend a few minutes being mindful of my breath at odd times during the day, I might do some chanting in the car (silently if I have company!), I may stop and practise a flowing tree posture whilst hanging out the washing! If I’m in the middle of a day of therapies, I might take a couple of minutes to stretch into a back bend and then a forward bend, or twist a couple of times, between clients, to stop that stiffness that likes to build up in my shoulders! I’ll do the same if I’m at my computer, catching up on emails, writing, doing my accounts….
I practise mindfulness or a breathing technique when I’m cooking the dinner, and washing the dishes afterwards. I do also like to stand in tree pose while washing up! And at bedtime I’ll usually practise a short relaxation, tensing and relaxing each muscle group ready for sleep. So much can be fitted in to a busy day, without devoting hours that most of us just don’t have. The more you do, the more you’ll want to do, so these helpful practices will stay at the forefront of your mind, ready for you to take your pick according to your mood and what you’re doing at the time. So while you might need to make a huge effort to remember in the beginning, it will become more of a natural response to the demands of your day. You’ll start to know what your body and your mind are in need of as you build up a repertoire of favourite practices. So yes, do try to attend a class. Do read books, blogs, anything you can, but most of all, find what works for you. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, it doesn’t have to be difficult, it just needs to work with your life.
Or sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive my FREE 15-minute relaxation recording: http://bit.ly/sunfishnews