I was about 8 years old when I first stepped into a yoga class, run by a green leotard clad primary school teacher. From that time, I’ve observed my practice shift and evolve with the seasons of life. When I first started attending regular classes, I had time and youth on my side. Now, I have insight and self-compassion. There have been times when I’ve gone for years without much asana (physical postures) at all. And at others, I’ve been completely immersed in all things yoga — visiting my mat multiple times a day while teaching and working full time in the industry.
If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us will go through periods in life where we just don’t feel we have the time or space to commit to a regular, physical yoga practice. So how can we infuse yoga into other aspects of our lives, and see where it exists already?
We can learn so much from the physical practice of yoga, and it’s certainly an important element. But once you’ve created that foundation, those philosophical lessons will always be with you — whether you have a dedicated asana practice or not.
Eight ways to practise yoga off the mat
Honour the yogic philosophy of ahimsa by practising kindness towards others and your Self.
You are perfect in your imperfection. You don’t need to pretend to be anything other than what you are in this moment.
Life sometimes has plans that are beyond your control. It’s okay to let go.
Move your body
Asana is about exploring your physical body so that you are able to find comfort in stillness. Move your body however you like to create the space for being receptive and still.
Take time to be still
Life can be busy, but there’s always time for stillness. It doesn’t have to be a formal, seated meditation, but just a moment at the start or end of your day to simply be.
Be open to new lessons and understandings. There are gurus all around you.
Take a deep breath into your belly.
Then another. And another.
Be here now
Whatever you’re doing, practise being fully present with the experience. Tune into your senses, notice what’s distracting you from the moment and be open to whatever arises right now.