How to practice yoga and meditation when you really don't feel like practicing
Practice practice practice is how we get the most benefits from yoga and meditation. The more we practice, the more it becomes a habit and an integral part of our life. The more we practice the more joy, serenity, creativity and confidence we can feel. To build the habit, the most important thing is to show up on your yoga mat or your meditation cushion everyday.
But sometimes you just can’t get there: you’ve got an extra busy day, you wake up late, you don’t feel particularly well, or you just don’t feel like it. There are lots of days like that! To stay in your routine, or to get extra opportunities for mindful practice into your day, try one of the these extremely easy micro practices that can take just a couple of minutes to do.
The super-simple morning micro-practice - You can do this every day, it's ideal if you really can’t get onto your yoga mat or meditation cushion. While you wait for your morning tea to steep or the coffee to percolate, do a single standing pose such as Tree Pose, Warrior 1 or 2, Triangle Pose (don't forget to do both sides) or just stand in Mountain Pose. Wake your body up to the sensations of grounding into the floor and to movement - no judgement here, just notice. Then take your cup to your sanctuary or any quiet spot, inside or out, where you can sit undisturbed. Close your eyes, notice the sensations of the cup in your hand, the smell of the tea/coffee. Simply sit like that, focusing on the sensation of your cup in your hands, for 2 minutes or so. Take a deep breath, and then you are ready to get on with your day. That’s it!
- The mini mindfulness meditation - Sit comfortably on your meditation cushion, or find a beautiful quiet spot you can be undisturbed for a few minutes. In fact you can do this absolutely anywhere. Set your timer for 2 minutes. Close your eyes and settle in. Breath in and out slowly through your nose 3 times. Then begin to become aware of the sensations around you. Choose just one to focus on. What do you hear? What can you smell? Can you feel a breeze on your skin? Can you feel your body in contact with the cushion/floor/chair? Your clothes in contact with your body? Just notice the one sensation of your choice. When the timer goes, take 3 more deep breaths in and out. And you are done.
- Just sitting - Try the Zen Buddhist meditation style called “Just Sitting”. In any sitting position, close your eyes and do just that - sit quietly. In this style you are not concentrating on anything at all: not on the breath, on a mantra or any other object. Just allow your mind to flow freely and spontaneously. There is no method to follow. Just sit, and sit, be aware of what is happening in your mind, and be open to it. In this silent free-flow, beautiful insights and inspiration can come up. You can do this for any amount of time, even just a few minutes: set a timer or just sit until you feel ready to move again.
- The one-pose yoga yoga practice - If you are feeling tired or just not in the mood for your daily yoga practice, get onto your yoga mat and do just one single pose. It can take as little as 1 minute! Chances are you will continue with a few more once you have started. Here are 6 ideas. Ask yourself how you want to feel today, then choose one of the following:
- To feel joyful = do Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
- To feel confident = do Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2)
- To feel grounded = do Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- To feel calm = do Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- To feel abundant = do Goddess Pose (Deviasana)
- To feel rested = do Savasana (sometimes that’s all you need to do!)
CLICK HERE to find out how to do these poses.
- Roll around on the floor, in any way at all that feels good to you. This may sound silly, and maybe it is. But this funny, mindful movement will take you back to your childhood, as well as get your muscles moving and your blood flowing. And I guarantee you will stand up with a smile on your face.
Each time you do one of these micro practices, give yourself a loving pat on the back and a lot of gratitude for showing up, sticking with your practice. Even if you were feeling a little down, doing a micro practice like these will leave you feeling a whole lot better … and more motivated for doing it!
Creating and sticking with your routine will be easiest when you have a dedicated space in your home for your practice, one that invites ease and comfort, one that inspires and motivates you to practice. This sanctuary could be a special corner of your bedroom, living room or study. Maybe you have a whole room to dedicate to your practice and personal wellness. It just needs to be a space where your yoga mat is rolled out and your meditation cushion is at the ready. Ideally you have created a focal point for your practice such as a meditation table or an “altar”, where you can place meaningful objects that inspire you.
If you’d like more ideas on how to create your sanctuary and build a solid and sustainable home practice, so that you can get all the benefits of yoga and meditation, click here to receive our HUM HOME PRACTICE Guide.