- Exercise & Fitness
Should You Do Yoga Everyday?
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There are quite a few ways to answer the question, “Should I do yoga everyday?” The right approach for you depends on your perspective and definition of yoga.
It depends on what your body needs and what kind of yoga practice you're doing.
In the most expansive sense, the answer is “Yes.”
If you think of what yoga is as a whole, it defines how we live. It can guide how you interact with the world, and is a very good guide at that.
Part of yoga is being kind to people, living by ethical guidelines such as ahimsa, or non-violence, and satya, which describes truth and honesty.
When you consider this broad perspective of yoga as a way of living with the highest integrity, then it only makes sense that we practice it everyday.
However, most of the time people ask this question they’re referring to the physical asana practice. Should you go to your mat and practice everyday?
Well, it depends.
What kind of yoga do you do? Is it serving your body in the highest way? Is it aligned both physically and philosophically with your highest good?
Those are the questions you really need to know to decide if you should go to your mat everyday.
For me, the answer is yes, most of the time. Yet my practices vary in length and intensity. Sometimes I do 6 full practices in a week, with just a bit of mindful stretching on the 7th day. Sometimes I do four 60-90 minute practices in a week, with shorter practices in between.
My body asks me to do yoga. When I skip the breathing and movement - the asana – I feel something missing. I want to go to my mat, or at least do 10 or 15 minutes on the carpet as a little break in my day.
And some days it’s more appropriate to rest. When women are on their menstrual cycle, sometimes the body would like a day off. Sometimes when the body is fighting off an illness or injury the kindest thing to do is not to practice.
Then again, sometimes the best thing you can do is to get the breath and circulation moving to assist the body’s natural healing capabilities.
Easy Ways to Bring Small Bits of Yoga into Every Day Life
- Daily Doses of Delight - Online Yoga and Meditation
Inspiring, free yoga and meditation emails give you mini-meditations and mini yoga practices. Realistically and easily integrate yoga into your every day life.
- Demystifying Meditation
Meditation's proven benefits have been hailed by scientists and the deeply spiritual, successful business people and busy parents. Find simple, rewarding meditations here and begin or deepen your meditation practice.
- Excellent Free Online Yoga Videos
These yoga videos give you excellent guidance on how to do yoga postures (or asana) in alignment. The site also includes informative and fun yoga articles, and even some yoga music!
Small Doses of Yoga Delight
But what if you don’t feel you have the time for that kind of consistency?
If you aren’t able to make time for a yoga class, or your own personal practice, don’t despair. Take a few minutes here and there throughout your day. Here’s an example:
Sit up tall in your chair and connect to your breath.
Let your breath initiate the movements described here.
With an inhale, lift your arms up over your head.
With an exhale, float your hands back down to your sides.
Repeat this a few times and notice the change in your breath and body.
See? Super simple, not at all time consuming, and yet this is a very powerful little exercise to increase circulation and wake up your breath. It can help you have more energy and focus as well.
I run an entire free yoga service based around these little mini-practices, catered to people who want to bring yoga into their everyday lives without it taking a lot of time. You can check it out at my website, Daily Doses of Delight – the link is to the right.
Beautiful and Inspiring Yoga Music
Great for Beginners to Yoga's Philosophy
Meditation is Yoga
Another aspect of yoga that is tremendously helpful to include in your everyday practice of being human is meditation.
Meditation connects you to who you truly are, helps you get clear about your purpose in life, and supports equanimity in this wonderfully crazy world.
Before I had a regular meditation practice, I didn’t have as much poise in my emotional world as I wanted. Sometimes I’d get thrown off balance and end up in the familiar funk of depression, anxiety, or anger that I struggled with as a teenager.
Yoga is intertwined with mediation and the practice of being present. By patiently learning how to be more and more aware, I was able to totally change my emotional patterns so that when I’m challenged I can redirect my focus to the wisdoms and truth I know in my heart.
My meditation practice is one of the most important parts of my day. I rarely miss it, because when I do I notice it isn’t as easy to stay centered or happy or kind to others.
By connecting to my highest self every morning, I am not only doing a great service for myself, but am doing a favor for those around me.
Meditation doesn’t have to take a long time; even 5 minutes can make a huge difference! Just be patient with your mind and explore the stillness with wonder and curiosity. Check out the Demystifying Meditation link above if you’re interested in learning more, or if you want a couple of meditations to try.
Your Own Truth
Often we doubt ourselves, or don’t give our intuitions the attention they deserve. It’s great to look for outside sources of information, yet use these to inform your own choices, not to decide for you.
Trusting yourself is so important. No one else can tell you what is right for you in the deepest, truest sense. Sure, sometimes our choices lead to mistakes, but by forgiving, learning, and moving on, we get stronger.
When you’re unsure about your yoga practice, or anything else for that matter, go within and find your own truth.
Listen to your body. Listen to your own wisdom. Listen to your intelligence. Listen to your heart.
Simple Seated Yoga Practice - You Can Do This Right Now
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More Excellent Yoga Resources
- Yoga Core Strength Exercises
Can yoga connect you with your core strength physically as well as mentally and emotionally? Absolutely! And Ill give you some great ways to connect to your core here. Having a strong body is essential...
- Why You Need to Stretch After Working Out
If you're dedicated to your health and fitness but aren't stretching after your workout you're cheating yourself. Learn why, and get some stretching ideas from the videos.