Yoga is about connecting with your body and even with your subconscious. But it’s not only about getting in touch with yourself, it can also be a great physical workout, helping improve your cardiovascular system, and build core strength. There are so many different styles, even among the more traditional practices. Whether you’re looking for something more dynamic and upbeat, or meditative and breath-focused, there’s something to suit everyone. There are endless benefits to yoga: it is known to help with back pain and ease arthritis symptoms, manage stress and help with sleeping problems, and of course, improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Research has shown that as little as 12-15 minutes of yoga every day can improve overall health and wellbeing. Studies showed improvement in physical attributes like honing flexible muscles and improved bone health, as well as building mental fortitude and improved memory and focus. Due to the wide range of practices available, doing small amounts of yoga is particularly beneficial if you have a busy schedule. You want to set aside just 15 minutes for your mini-yoga session. Ideally, this would be first thing in the morning, or just before you go to sleep. Early morning yoga will help to balance you for the day ahead, whereas night-time yoga will help you relax before you go to sleep. Of course, if the middle of the day is the only time you have to spare, you’ll still gain all the benefits that yoga has to offer.
In your mini-session, you want to include both meditation and some simple movement. Find yourself a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Begin by sitting in a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and breathe slowly through your nose. To help stay focussed on your breathing, you can try to focus on the sound of your breath, counting with each breath, or even try picturing the breath. Stay like this for a few minutes, and then we’ll move on to some sun salutations. This sequence gracefully links a few asanas, while still focussing on your breath, thus connecting mind and body. You might work up a bit of a sweat, so if you have a couple more minutes to spare, you can sit comfortably and return to your breath. Namaste.