Some of you might be under the impression that yoga requires a mat, a calm atmosphere, maybe some low lighting, and of course yoga pants. What would you say if I told you I do yoga on the New York subway at rush hour more than once a day?
Yoga is so much more than a physical activity, it is a mental exercise too. Here are a few ways to practice yoga no matter where you are or what you're doing.
1. Take a Deep Breath
Also known as pranayama, mastering control and awareness of your breath is one of the most important steps in your yoga practice. When your feeling anxious or stressed, breath out for four counts, hold for four, and then breathe in for four. Do the reverse when you’re feeling depressed. These exercises relax and energize, respectfully. Or simply take a few minutes out of your day and focus on your breath. It will bring you back to center and quiet your mind.
2. Be Present
Life throws curveballs, or is just generally 'meh' sometimes. We live in an environment of constant stress about the state of our lives and it leads to some serious mood swings. Part of the mental exercise of yoga is to learn to live, and be happy with the life you’re living. Wherever you are is exactly where you are supposed to be right now. You are perfectly you.
3. Practice Loving Kindness Towards Others
It may seem like a small change, but spend a day aiming to hurt no one and to steal nothing from anyone. When you’re sitting in traffic and someone cuts you off, resist from cursing them under your breath. When someone is trying to merge into your lane when they should have gotten over a long time ago, let them in. Don’t hurt anyone with your anger. Don’t steal from anyone’s happiness.
4. Practice Loving Kindness Towards Yourself
You deserve as much love as anyone else. Spend a say where you don’t insult yourself, or guilt yourself, or belittle yourself. Love and respect who you are.
5. Let Go
Let go of anything that does not deserve your energy. That frenemy who makes you doubt yourself. The shoes that hurt your feet but are a fashion-must. Let go of the things that are holding you back and move forward.