Integrating Yoga Into Life

Integrating Yoga Into Life Yoga is life & life is yoga, therefore making yoga part of your everyday is simple and you probably do it already without knowing or thinking about it.

Integrating the principles of yoga into life does not even involve stepping foot on a yoga mat! Here are five key elements of yoga and how they transfer to life: Being Present Yoga is all about presence. Living in the present moment, whatever that moment may be, is the essence of living fully and the key to inner peace and contentment which is what we all strive for in life. Train yourself to experience every moment as deeply as you can, become aware of and connected to all that is around you, the sights, sounds, smells, feel of all the things that are a part of your daily life but often just pass you by. Breathing Deep The breath is a crucial component of yoga; it’s also pretty necessary the rest of the time too! Start to pay attention to your breathing throughout the day and not just during exercise. Do you breathe mostly through your nose or your mouth? Do you breathe into your chest or your belly? Are your breaths fast or slow, shallow or deep? The breath can be used to your advantage; send it toward irritation, anger and stress or even towards that tight hamstring! Tuning Into The Self Being in touch with your body and mind allows you to get the best from yourself. Yoga asks us to pay attention to our physical selves throughout each practice, stretching to our limit but going no further, noticing what hurts and what feels good.

Through being present in our mind it also teaches us focus and clarity of our beliefs and actions. Take this off the mat and into daily life and you will be better equipped to deal with everyday situations, make better decisions and take the best course of action for you. Seeking Balance Achieving balance between all the elements in your life will assist you in working towards and achieving your goals. Life can often feel like we are constantly juggling work, family, friends, health and integrity, trying to keep them all in the air and find that elusive balance between what we have to do and what we want to do, our likes and dislikes. Yoga teaches you to let go of the things you can’t control and focus on what you can. Importance of Routine Yoga exists on the foundation of firm routine - a downward dog is always a downward dog. Routine also plays a role in health, happiness and success. It is key for babies and children to have a “good” routine, why does that need to change for adults? Set yourself a daily schedule for eating, sleeping, exercising and downtime, be consistent with it and you will soon find it easy to get the most from each day and live life to its fullest.

In conclusion, don’t just live life on autopilot. Become aware of everything you are doing and feeling, even the little things. Analyze and question all that you do on a daily basis - Why are you doing it? How does it make you feel? What benefit is it bringing you? How does it affect those around you? Why did you react or respond the way you did? To gain a greater insight and understanding into how and why you function the way you do, further question your answers to these questions. Life becomes a lot simpler when you understand yourself and have control over your actions and reactions, integrating the principles of yoga into life will help you get there!

By; Claire Ames, Yoga Teacher