Taking Your Yoga off the Mat
After my Vinyasa Yoga teacher training in India, I returned enlightened with the knowledge that yoga is SO much more than postures and shapes thrown together to strengthen and stretch your body- it is a guide to living your life. Yogic philosophy outlines the ways in which we should live our life, how we look after ourselves and treat the world around us.
Here are a few daily steps I take to bring yoga off my mat & into my life…
Each morning I try to wake up to a morning meditation. Whether it’s 5, 10 or 20 minutes, a little bit of breath work and stillness helps focus my mind ready for the day ahead. I love sitting by my window, listening to the birds and feeling the morning breeze. If you find meditation hard, Headspace is an app which provides a free trial of guided meditations.
Digestive Cleansing Exercises & Nasal Cleansing Exercises
After I have completed my morning meditation and breath work, I dedicate five minutes to waking up my digestive system. I do this by completing five rounds of Uddiyana Banda, a process of sucking the belly in and up towards the rib cage, massaging the internal organs and aiding digestion. Following this I use a Neti Pot to clean my nasal passages, which I have found massively beneficial to my breathing and in reducing hay fever symptoms.
Before the day starts, I like to take five mindful minutes to reflect on the day ahead. I use the ‘5 Minute Journal’ app to document what I am truly grateful for and what I will do to make the day great- alternatively you could use a notepad. As the day ends I use the app to evaluate how the day has been, what amazing things happened and how I could have made the day better. This practice of physically writing out your goals and evaluating them daily has been super beneficial for me when keeping on track with my happiness and achievements.
Read a book or watch a TED Talk
It is so important that as humans we challenge ourselves daily to educate ourselves more. Each day I try to read a book or watch a TED talk, to develop my knowledge and grow as an individual. I am not a big reader, but ‘The Book of Dharma’ changed this for me, in which Simon Haas magically explains the fundamental teachings that underpin yoga in a digestible way.
Above all else, don’t let time restrict you. Sometimes life means you can’t commit a whole hour to yourself. That’s okay. I practice yoga as a way to ground myself, and to remember who I am and what is important to me, and these daily actions help me achieve this even when I can’t get into class. So take these tools and use them to transfer what you learn on the mat into your daily life. I hope they help you find guidance throughout your day!
Katy, an ambitious, twenty-something year old, had dreams to go and work in the branding industry of New York. Instead, she found yoga. Katy is on a mission to improve the happiness and mental health of people through yoga. She teaches in various locations around West Sussex, with each class grounded by authenticity, humility and kindness towards yourself. Every sequence offers a chance to sweat, reflect and smile as she takes her students on a journey, helping them to observe the subtle internal movements of their bodies and the habitual motions of their minds.