DIY Yoga: easy exercises to improve your life

Written by on March 27, 2013 in Body & Mind, Wellbeing - Comments Off on DIY Yoga: easy exercises to improve your life

CelestOften we don’t have time to make it to the yoga studio. Well, doing it yourself is easier than you think. Let’s explore some fun, quirky ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life without even getting your mat out. Little changes all add up. Never underestimate what something like this can do for your state of mind and the health of your body in the long term.

Energy
Something I hear many people complaining about is the feeling that they just can’t get out of bed in the morning. The snooze button get’s pressed over and over again and this groggy feeling persists throughout the morning until the first cup of coffee is ingested. Of course followed shortly after by the afternoon slump. To help you wake up more easily spend a few minutes in the morning doing slightly deeper breathing. You don’t even need to sit up, do it as the alarm starts chiming. Now, as you breathe start thinking of all the things you feel grateful for in your life. For example, even if it’s Monday morning and you don’t feel like going to work perhaps start thinking about how lucky you are to even have a job at all. That many people would give anything to trade places with you. You’ll be surprised how quickly the fog lifts and the energy to get up comes.

Balance
As a yoga teacher something I see frequently are people that have great balance on one leg and poor balance on the other. My prescription for this is to stand on the leg that has poorer balance when brushing your teeth. Initially one may find that it is essential to told onto the basin for support, but as time passes and the leg strengthens it’ll become less essential and even fun to practice this without holding on. If you have great balance on both legs then practice this task half on one leg and half on the other, but spice it up by closing your eyes and brushing your teeth with the hand you don’t usually use.

De-stress
Whenever I have something bad or stressful to deal with I always do my best to find a quiet space where I won’t be interrupted for at least a minute. In this time I practice bhramari breathing, the humming bee breath. All it involves is sitting with your eyes closed, taking a deep breath in and as you breathe out create a humming sound. I do this up to five times and as I do so I visualise all the muscles of my face relaxing. This might sound crazy to you but I taught this breathing exercise to a few people I know and we have all been amazed at how much better we deal with difficult situations when we return to them.

Stretch
See your body as a tool that can make even mundane tasks fun. Every time you drop your pen, reach for your phone, watch television or make phone calls. See if you can find a way to turn these tasks into a stretch. For example if you drop your pen, stretch out your hamstrings by hinging forward from the hips and see how far down you get before you have to bend your knees. If you’re watching T.V. or making phone calls, sit in a chair with one ankle crossed over one knee, like a figure four. This will stretch out your glutes. There are a million different things that can be done and the brain loves to get the creative juices flowing. In fact, next time you’re at yoga imagine each pose and how you can use it in your daily life.

Focus
Finally, make an effort next time you’re with someone you care about to be as fully present as possible. Ignore your phone and forget about what is happening after you leave this person. Just focus on them entirely in that moment. Even if you’re pressed for time and have lots of responsibilities, remember that nothing is as important as they. Once you get good at doing this around the people you love, you’ll notice your relationships enhance and you might feel inspired to practice this in other areas of your life. Imagine what we can achieve if we give our entire focus to each task that we  encounter.

Set yourself a challenge to add one new thing mentioned above to your daily routine for 30 days. If you don’t feel a difference then abandon it. If you do, add one more little yogic tip and share this article with people you feel could benefit from it.

About the Author

Celest Pereira

Celest is a trained dancer and martial artist with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy and over 10 years yoga practise. Celest completed her Yoga Teacher Training in India in 2009 and has been teaching full time since then. Witnessing her classes really begin to buzz with increasing numbers of regular students she founded CITYOGI (www.cityogi.com), a website aimed to make yoga more accessable to the city professional. Celest's greatest passion is to teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga. She has classes in top yoga centres in London, such as Triyoga and Evolve and regularly takes groups to exotic locations for yoga retreats.