5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes for Your Yoga Practice

Yoga-related books: Yoga sutras, yamas & niyamas, Light on Yoga, Gita

With kids, work, school and all the other obligations we have in our lives, most of us don’t have big blocks of time to devote to a long practice.

But in just five minutes you can:

1.   Focus on your breath. First, notice it without making any changes. Is it hard, shallow, sticking in any spot? Then begin a slow inhalation and exhalation, making them of equal count. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, lengthen your exhale. Depressed or need more energy? Lengthen your inhale.

2.    Bring yourself to the present. For the next few minutes, be aware of what you’re doing. For instance, instead of going on autopilot to wash the dishes, consciously feel the soapy water, the dish in your hand, the movement of your arms and hands as you scrub the pot.

3.    Do a few poses. No need to do a complete practice, just get your body moving with some cat/cow, sun salutations or down dog-to-plank vinyasas. It will wake you up mentally and physically.

4.    Read inspirational material. Read two or three yoga sutras (The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali is one text), a paragraph from the Bhagavad Gita or any book that speaks to you.

5.    Write in your journal about your practice. What has changed for you – mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually – since you started your yoga journey?