Yoga Tips: So Much to Do, so Little Time

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We only have 24 hours a day, every day of our lives, but we often feel that 24 hours is not enough to do everything that we need to do. Worse than just that, whenever we go to bed with some agenda left undone, the next morning we will wake up feeling guilty for not managing the time to do it yesterday. With yoga, you can learn how to do your best in managing your days by increasing your awareness of time and day.

yoga1Yoga is about shaping our mindset and directing our awareness to the things that are important to us in our life, and self-management including time, starting with our awareness about ourselves and our time. Yoga’s teaching can help us in keeping us focused on our daily agenda and reducing the chance of other things distracting us from completing our planned tasks.

Most often what happens in our days is not that we forget the tasks that we are planning to do, but when we are set to do the things we are planning to do, some distractions or urgent things come up which we have to deal with, and we lost track of our original plans. Situations like this easily become a burden and later, we find ourselves regretting our decisions in choosing the tasks we did and did not do.

There are two main things that we need to remind ourselves in order to have a better management of our time and day. The first thing is that we cannot change the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. We just have to carefully and effectively plan our days. The second thing is that human beings are not machines or robots that will do tasks as outlined without the ability to make adjustments or allowance for sudden distractions or urgent agendas that are not in our original plan.

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We should try to go to sleep at night at such time that will allow us to wake up at the intended time the next morning. Then, when we wake up early in the morning, we will have time to do pranayama, and little meditation. These morning routines will create a positive energy that opens up our mind and body and prepare them to face your entire day with an increased level of awareness. By doing this, we have prepared ourselves to do our best in completing our planned tasks during the day and be prepared to act on Plan-B, should a distraction or urgent situation arises.

Finally, we should not go too hard on ourselves whenever we are faced with unfinished tasks at the end of the day. We need to remind ourselves that we have started our day in the best possible state of mind and a solid plan. We also have done the best that we could in completing our planned tasks and all new tasks that aroused during the day. The rest is just the way everything is meant to happen for us and not entirely happened because of our fault.

The longer we practice this time management style, we will find that yoga has helped improved our inner strength in making our mindset more solid and balanced, which in turn enables us to effectively manage our life and our time.

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Many options available to learn Yoga:

There are many options available to the individual interested in Yoga Teacher training and Yoga Instructor Certification. We are going to go over some of the more popular choices available and you will be able to decide which option is the best for you as far as time management and costs.

There are several onsite yoga studios in most of the larger metropolitan areas throughout the country. These classes can last anywhere from one month with intensive training or up to several years depending on how often they meet. Some meet just once a week while others meet two and three times a week. The different locations tend to cater to their customer base. In locations where there are non-working, financially independent customers, the classes are held more frequently. In the areas that are mostly working class customers, arrangements for night and weekend classes are held. There are studios that will arrange classes according to the customers wishes. Most people cannot arrange their work schedule around extracurricular classes but many studios are willing to do this.  Many employers are not willing to give time off to train for a different profession.

There are yoga retreats or a yoga ashram that offers complete immersion for the teacher without any of life’s distractions. The living quarters available for interns and want-to-be teachers are available at these retreats. This is obviously the best way to learn yoga, with total immersion and no distraction, but not everyone can afford the time or money for this option. If you are financially stable enough for this option, it is well worth the money.

A luxury vacation yoga teacher-training course is popular for the rich and famous in an exotic location but not reasonable for everyone. For those that can afford the time and money involved in such a vacation, it is the ultimate learning opportunity. For the previous student of yoga wanting to become a Certified Yoga Instructor that cannot afford such a luxurious vacation learning experience, correspondence courses may the way to go. This type of learning is for the practicing student that has a foundation in yoga already. It is not for the beginner. You should be practicing with an instructor or group for the course to take on more meaning and make it more enriching. Make sure the course you choose is within the realm of your knowledge and not too advanced. There are several levels available. Do your research and make sure the course you choose has a complete syllabus for you.

There are weekend yoga teaching intensives available but do not think you can learn everything in just one weekend. These weekend intensives are for the experienced teachers to sharpen their teaching skills, interact with other teachers, identify weaknesses and overcome them. Yoga is a lifestyle and is very serious. A continuous journey that is never-ending. As a yoga instructor, you are also a student for life. Continuing education is the key to becoming a competent instructor so choose your courses carefully.

Using Yoga to Breathe Away Stress:

Does yoga breathing reduce everyday stress and tension? Try it! You’ll like it! Yoga breathing is simple, the way we breathed when we first exited the womb. What we need to do is remember how to do it! A simple yoga technique will relax away the day’s stress, revitalize your body and rejuvenate your mental state.

I learned about yoga breathing from that great “yoga mistress” – Raquel Welch. Her video tape of yoga exercises stresses breathing through the tension so your body’s muscles can relax enough to do the strenuous stretching exercises for 90 minutes.

As I learned more about yoga, I realized how much the body and mind needs good breathing, something we Westerners tend to forget how to do. We focus on the inhale, the drawing in of breath. Yoga focuses on the exhale, expelling soured air from the bottom of the lungs so that you can refill them with fresh, clean oxygen.

The following breathing exercise takes less than five minutes. I make it a part of my morning wake-up routine before I even get out of bed. If you’re prone to falling back sleep, you might want to move to some other quiet place in the house.

At night, five minutes of yoga breathing will relax your mind and body and facilitate a good night’s sleep.

Because it takes so little time (once you’ve practiced a few times), this yoga breathing technique can be used anytime you MAKE TIME to fit it into your schedule. Who’s going to notice if you spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom?

Here is your simple five-minute routine to relax, de-stress and rejuvenate your senses. Take a moment to notice how you normally breathe, then follow these steps for complete yoga breathing:

Remember, these are quiet, unassuming actions. No need to snort in the air or exhale loudly.

  1. Sit or recline comfortably. (I fall asleep if I recline – this is sooooo relaxing!) Closing your eyes will help you focus on the breathing.
    2. Empty your lungs completely. Note that as you breathe out, the chest collapses naturally. Continue the exhale by pulling in your stomach muscles. This expels the stale air from your lower lungs.
    3. Inhale slowly. Bring the fresh air all the way into your stomach and let it fill your lower lungs. Visualize the air filling all your lungs, expanding your rib cage, filling your chest and even lifting your shoulders a bit.
    4. Hold this deep, full breath for a second or two, then exhale through your nose.
    5. Breathe normally for 1-2 breaths, then repeat.

That’s all there is to it!

Start with doing just two yoga breathing exercises daily and gradually increase them. You’ll notice the relaxing and stress reducing benefits increase exponentially.

Make this simple yoga breathing technique a part of your morning or nighttime routine. In the morning, use it to energize you for the day’s tasks; in the evening use it breathe away the tensions and stress lingering in your body.

Once you master breathing again, you’ll know it is the best gift you can give your self!