6 ways to fit yoga into your life

So, you want to start incorporating (aka practicing) yoga into your life but it seems impossible to fit one more thing into your already packed schedule. You {insert sport of choice here} and cross-train. You take a rest day or two (or three) to allow your body recover. And that’s just your workout schedule! When things get busy, yoga is often the first thing to fall off your list, if it’s even on your list in the first place.

So, you want to start incorporating aka practicing yoga into your life but it seems impossible to fit one more thing into your already packed schedule. Where do you start? Here are 6 ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life.

One of the common misconceptions about yoga is that in order to “do” yoga, you have to go to a hour to hour and a half long class at a studio. But that’s far from the truth.

Whether it’s five minutes or half an hour, there are a number of ways that you can easily fit yoga into your life that doesn’t require schlepping you and your mat to a studio.

6 Ways to Incorporate Yoga into Your Daily Life

1. Start small
Start by incorporating a few poses at the end of your run or workout as part of your cool-down routine, just like you would stretching and foam rolling. Don’t know what poses to do? Here are some great yoga poses for runners. Hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. Here’s part 2 of yoga for runners.

2. Sun salutations
A great way to incorporate yoga into your day is to move through a few rounds of Sun Salutation A or Surya Namaskar A. This is an easy and standard sequence of poses. Because it’s a well-known sequence of movements, it’s a great way to get out of your head and start to link mind, body and breath. Sun Salutations awaken the energy in your body. With each cycle, you draw prana up and circulate it throughout the body and, as a result, warm the body and create a sense of feeling centered.

3. Make it up
Still unsure about what poses or sequence of poses to do? The truth? It doesn’t really matter. Just move through poses that you are familiar with and that make your body feel good. Turn on some music and start to tune into what your body is asking for. For me, it’s often hip-opening postures like pigeon or double pigeon.

yoga collage

4. Online classes
Online classes have come a long way over the years and are a great resource. There are videos ranging from 15 minutes to 90 minutes – perfect to fit your needs on any given day. yogaglo and Gaiam offer a great line-up of teachers.

5. Take it outside
While yes, I love to do yoga outside and in random places, you can also practice yoga through moving meditation. Yoga is not just the asana or the physical practice on your mat. Meditation and practices of mindfulness are a big part of yoga. Try taking a walk outside – breathe deeply, take deliberate steps and focus on the present moment.

6. Make it a priority
As with anything, if you really want to do it, you have to make time for it. You have to make it a priority. For me, I’m in the middle of ramping up my running and training for a half marathon. I am also trying to jumpstart a new career direction. However, I make it a priority to practice at least 4 times a week by carving out little chunks of time. Like a I said, it’s not all physical practice on my mat, although that is a big part of it. It’s also studying and practicing mindfulness.

What tips do you have for fitting yoga into your life?

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  1. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I need this so much! For me, I think allowing myself the shorter practice and not thinking I have to do an hour or more, will help.

    I love Yoga Download because I can download the audio to my phone and really practice anywhere. They are very well instructed and they have video too for those who prefer it.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Marathon Base Training, Ignite Naturals, and the Dog RescuerMy Profile

  2. says

    I just posted about how to love yoga! It really is something that more people want to do but just don’t know where to put it. Since I’m in between studios right now, I’ve been doing a lot of online sessions or making my own practice up as I go. It’s not a perfect building sequence but it’s my own. Great tips as usual!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..5 Tips on How to Love YogaMy Profile

  3. says

    These are some great tips, especially ‘starting small.’ Although, in my opinion, I believe people gradually begin choosing other tasks over yoga practice, because they don’t see themselves as somebody who deserves a superior priority.
    The issue is psychological. One needs to understand, that their first responsibility is towards themselves. Once they realize that, they’ll never falter in practice. A tip to make it easier is to make a list of reasons for which one is taking up yoga. Then, write against them what would you be able to do once you have been through the planned session. For instance, reason for choosing yoga could be weight loss, and accomplishment effect would be fitting into the date dress. Reason can be healthier, so you can spend time with kids in park playing along.
    Now, every time you think about prioritizing other things over Yoga, just keep the list in front of you. This way, when you can see your goals, you can make better choices.
    Mansi Goel recently posted..Is Decaf Coffee Better Than Regular ??My Profile

  4. says

    So very true! So many great yoga posts this morning! It is as if you are reading my mind! I have decided to make yoga a priority. I know it will help me sleep better at night, and I know it will help my flexibility, which will make me a faster runner, so I can accomplish my goals, and eventually reach that 2:30 marathon….someday :) Thanks so much for sharing!
    Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday: Vegetable Rice BakeMy Profile

  5. says

    I remember when I first started a home practice, I’d get very frustrated by the sort of interruptions that would just naturally occur from being home, like roommates walking in and wanting to chat or little kitties who interpreted my being on the floor as playtime with their favorite human…. I’d find myself rolling up my mat in a huff at the end because why couldn’t all the living creatures just leave me alone! At some point, I just let it go and became more flexible about it. I’ve done yoga while having conversations. I snuggle and pet my cats while I’m on the mat between poses. Sure, it might not be traditional but it works!
    nikkiana recently posted..The Shit Mood and Human ConnectionMy Profile

  6. says

    I feel like Des takes your advice because even at 18 months, I see him doing yoga poses that his grandmother taught him. He just stops and does them. Anywhere.
    Wouldn’t it be awesome if adults did that?
    P.S. I love this post and sent it to my sister.
    Tamara recently posted..Me Before You.My Profile

  7. says

    I like these ideas–I have really slacked on yoga the past year or so and want to get it back in my life, but not sure I want to commit the time to drive to a facility, take a class, and drive home! Now, doing it in random, outdoor (public) places? I’m not sure the world is ready for me to do that!
    misszippy recently posted..What’s it like to rest for two weeks?My Profile

    • says

      It would be so fun to see you do yoga in random outdoor places! :-)
      Seriously, I think that the commitment to go to a studio and spend an hour or more there is a big deterrent for a lot of people. I hope that this does help people realize that it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment.
      Christine Yu recently posted..6 ways to fit yoga into your lifeMy Profile

  8. says

    I’ve been recommitting to yoga recently and loving it. As a result, so many friends, readers, etc. have asked me about getting started or commented that they wish they did more. Thanks for the fabulous post, I’ll definitely be sharing it :)
    Kim @ BusyBod recently posted..Back to school {MIMM}My Profile

  9. says

    Great tips Christine! I also like YogaToday for online yoga classes. They have some free classes too! And YouTube has short classes from yoga gurus like Tara Stiles. I think once you start practicing yoga it stays with you. I’m always doing yoga stretches at the end of my workouts!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted..Fit Tips to Jumpstart January!My Profile

  10. says

    I finally got a chance to run by and read this! Getting back into the blogging world can be a little crazy! LOL

    As you know I wrote that whole bit pondering how to practice yoga. It’s tough figuring out a “plan” for it for me. I know that the best time to do it is after, and not before, a run, and running usually occurs in the morning for me. So fitting it in would have to happen after the run – luckily, I think I’ve figured out that I can run in the am on MWF when I bring the littlest bit to school, and then get my practice on afterward while it’s still quiet in the house. TTH would be the same only earlier. I finally have things planned well enough to start 100 days of practice – and I’m really REALLY looking forward to it. I love that you mentioned sun salutations (my favorite to work on) and how to work poses into a warmup/cool down. Thanks for all the great links, friend!
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted..Food for thought: change the way you change.My Profile

    • says

      Hi friend. So nice to see you here! I’ve been horrible lately about reading and commenting. Trying to figure out the right balance of it all. I was so happy to see that you are getting back into yoga. After a run is a good time for me too. I love that you are dedicated to 100 days of practice. That’s awesome and can’t wait to hear more about it.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Friday Round-UpMy Profile

  11. says

    I have been using some online classes in the mornings to try to get into yoga – and it has been great. Doesn’t take much time, I can do it quickly, and feel so much better after I have done it! Your suggestions are good ones. It really does come down to making it enough of a priority!
    Leah recently posted..Focus 2014My Profile


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