City life is hectic, right? Work, commute, kids, spouse, friends – there is so much going on constantly. The never ending to-do lists are a constant reminder that relaxation is a luxury you cannot afford. Busy has become the new cool, and who really has the time to stand and stare? In such a scenario, sadly, our aspirations of staying fit and flexible, to be calm, cool and ‘in charge’ take a backseat.
Only when you reach a point of exhaustion, do you start looking for some quick fixes: a spa appointment, a beach vacation, a detox diet, or something like that. And sure, these may provide a temporary feel-good solution. But then you return to the same madness, and in just a few days, you’re back to square one. These are just temporary solutions, and won’t really give you any long-term benefit. We need to have answers that can be applied in our day-to-day lives. That’s why detox in the city is really the need of the hour. This is where yoga comes into the picture. One of the common misconceptions about yoga is that in order to ‘do’ yoga, you have to go to an hour-long class at a studio. But that’s far from the truth. The practice is so simple, that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and by anyone!
Here are some of my favourite ways to do ‘yoga on the go’
Wake up, get going:
Immediately after waking up, while still in bed, take a moment to wake up the whole body with some gentle stretches. Take a deep breath, stretch your hands up and get ready to face the day. Since the spine has been in the lying down position for the whole night, show some love to it by doing a simple forward bend [Child’s pose/Balasana] as you take a moment of gratitude.
Take deep yogic breaths:
Your breath is always with you, so why not use it effectively? You can breathe deeply when you are in your car, when you in a meeting in a conference room, or when waiting in queue at the grocery store. Not only does deep breathing calm your heart rate and relax the nervous system, it also makes you happy!
Stretch it out at your desk:
Sitting 8+ hours on a chair can do a lot of harm to the body. Get into the habit of using the chair as a prop to do some stretches and joint movements. Try a seated twist (Marichyasana) in your office chair, or do just Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) to stretch your upper body. You can also do seated Marjariasna [Cat-Cow Pose] to relax the body and the mind.
No matter what you are doing, try and bring awareness in your actions. Reading a book, eating your meals, driving a car, working on your laptop, doing the dishes – do it all slowly and mindfully. You will learn to stay in the ‘now’, and be more present and productive.
Simply remember to make small changes in your daily life. That’s when you will start noticing big impacts on your mind, body and breath.
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