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The Busy Yogi: Making Time for Practice

Life gets hectic. Sometimes it feels so difficult to balance it all. We try to get it all done and sometimes our schedules fall short of yoga. This is the story we tell ourselves.

I am a recent graduate student, as well as an academic. My job requires my energy a minimum of 40 hours per week. Scholarship and service are also an explicit requirement of my job. This means I am required to serve on the board of relevant professional organizations, present at conferences and publish scholarly work. Last but certainly not least, my schedule rotates. I am required to work two Sundays and three evening shifts per semester. I am also a lover of sleep, home cooked, plant-based, organic meals and visiting my family during my time off. Sometimes it’s hard to fit yoga into my schedule.

I also struggle to find a time that works with my schedule. I can’t bear to wake up early enough to make the 6 am class. 7 am is cutting it too close to work. 7 pm is too late in the game for dinner. But the truth is: I can make it work when I stop telling myself this story. The short and simple phrases we echo at yoga can go a long way. Below are a few ways I apply these phrases to remind myself to make yoga a part of my schedule, even when life gets busy.

“Take Up Space”

When I hear this at yoga, I imagine myself taking up more space on my mat. But this also applies to creating space for yourself and your practice in your schedule. When you open that space and make a commitment to your self-growth via your practice, you will flow into it with ease and effort.

“You are Enough”

We have many commitments to others and our responsibilities, but your practice has the unique ability to provide space for a commitment to yourself. You are worthy of commitment. You deserve self-love.

“Be Present in this Moment”

At yoga, we have a unique opportunity to be present. For some of us, it may be the only time we are able to focus without the interruption of texts, emails, and social media notifications. This can be the most relieving space in your schedule to center and come back to yourself.

“Don’t forget to breathe”

Whenever you are struggling to keep up with your schedule or you start to feel your anxiety creeping up, it never fails to just breathe. When you focus on your breathing it grounds you and has the potential to bring you to a more relaxed state. Once you are grounded, your perspective shifts and you realize you really do have time for yoga – and I promise you will feel so much better afterward.

“Be mindful”

Yoga teaches us to be mindful in our intentions and self-awareness. Sometimes there really is just no room for yoga on our schedules on a given day. On these days I look for yoga in everything I do. I think about the phrases in this post and intentionally apply them to my daily routine. Yoga doesn’t stop at your mat. Shine your light into the world!

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