Feeling too busy for yoga lately? Here are 3 reasons why making time for yoga can actually make you MORE productive!
As busy as we all are these days, it’s no surprise that our yoga practice can sometimes fall by the wayside. We’re all caught up in rushing from one activity to the next – getting the kids off to school, walking the dog, heading to the office, rushing home to prepare dinner and get the kids to bed – when do we have time to slow down and just breathe, let alone unroll our yoga mats?
Although it seems like skipping yoga in the midst of all the other things you have to take care of may not be a big deal, the truth is that our busiest times may be when we need our yoga practice the most. In fact, being “too busy” for yoga may actually mean that you should be practicing more – not less!
Here are a few reasons why:
1.) Yoga connects you with your body.
At least in the Western world, most of us live in our heads nearly 100% of the time. Our brains are constantly on the go, organizing, thinking, planning, obsessing, prioritizing, etc. And our bodies are just kind of “along for the ride” in most of our daily activities. But research has found that connecting your mind with your body – even for just 30 minutes per day – can significantly reduce stress and improve mental focus and clarity. Which means that doing a physical activity like yoga, which helps you tune into your body, can actually improve your brain function!
According to this article from Yoga Basics,
When we are fully present in our bodies, we can accomplish our to-do’s with more grace, confidence and physical awareness.
2.) Meditation trains your mind to work with you, not against you.
When our bodies are always on the go, our minds usually are too. Stress, feeling overwhelmed and being tired can arouse scattered thoughts and emotions that limit our ability to focus and distract us from our goals. However, when we meditate, we learn see mind chatter for what it is, and are better equipped to work with the mind and recognize habits that restrict our functionality. This skill enhances life beyond the meditation cushion, and is worth the thirty (or more) minutes of daily meditation it sometimes takes to learn. (Bonus: yoga and meditation might even increase immune function, protecting you during cold and flu season.)
3.) Taking time for yourself reduces stress and overwhelm.
While it may seem counterintuitive to take time out of your busy schedule to do “nothing”, taking some time to rest, relax, and give yourself a little TLC can actually help you be more productive, focused, and energized. As this article reminds us, “When the nervous system is overworked, we show up less optimally, and are more prone to experience anxiety, over-reactivity and anger.” On the other hand, activities that help to balance our parasympathetic nervous system, such as yoga, meditation, self-massage, and certain Pranayama exercises, can help counteract the state of “fight-or-flight” that most of us find ourselves in far too often in today’s modern world.
Remember, it’s the times when you feel “too busy” for yoga that you actually need it the most! Make it a priority to take a yoga break today; both your body and your mind will thank you. 🙂