Experience the Benefits of Yoga Outside of a Class

louyogaDo you go to a yoga class, love the feeling of how present and relaxed it makes you feel and then rush off to the rest of your life, leaving that lovely Zen feeling behind?

Do you enjoy yoga because it allows you time to stop, to have time to yourself away from other distractions?

I invite you to notice the separation there is between your yoga practice and your life off the mat. Then look at what you learn in yoga to apply it to every day life.

There does not have to be a big divide, yoga provides you with tools to access how you wish to feel at any given time. Here are a few suggestions of things to experiment with:

1) Leave your yoga class slowly, remain calm and relaxed for as long as possible rather than dashing off to the next thing.

2) Through out your day stop every now and then to notice if you are holding any tension, consciously relax that area. Breathe deeply and on the exhale allow tension to melt away.

3) Notice your breathing; is it deep or shallow, slow or fast, where do you feel it; in your tummy, chest, side of ribs or just in your nostrils. Take a few moments to deepen and lengthen the breath,

4) Be kind to yourself, notice where you are forcing in life and step back a bit, ease off and breathe.

5) Experiment, just as you may play around with a posture to find the right variation for your body do the same in life. Try different things until you find something that feels best for you.

6) Connect with the stillness with in you. When you notice your mind is going 100 miles an hour, stop, connect with the ground, feet the earth beneath your feet, centre yourself and be still. Even if just for a few moments.

7) Let Go. Notice if there is anything you are attached to in life, just as you maybe when wanting posture to be a certain way. Relax, let go and allow yourself to just be in the posture, and in life.

8) Slow things down. If, like me, you have a tendency to do everything quickly a good meditative practice is to slow down. Do the washing up slowly, Walk slowly, Cook slowly, Savour every moment.

These are just a few suggestions. Have a play around with things you learn in class and try them out in life too. The benefits of yoga don’t just have to be in that 60-90 minutes in the yoga studio, yoga is within you and can impact your whole life. That is one of the reasons I love it so much!