Are You Too Busy to Do Yoga?
There’s an old Zen adage that says you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy; in which case you should sit for an hour. What I interpret this to mean is that if you want to engage in a mindfulness practice like yoga or meditation, but feel like you don’t have the time, it’s a clear sign that you really need it! The mind state of “too busy” almost always includes “overwhelmed” and “stressed out” as well. “Too busy” is also the #1 excuse I hear from friends and colleagues when I encourage them to try yoga.
Of course, I do understand. Even though yoga is an integral part of my life and I love the energy that practicing with a group of people imparts, I often have trouble finding what typically amounts to 2 1/2 hours out of my day to travel to and attend a class at a studio. The good news is that you can do yoga anywhere, anytime, for 5 minutes or 5 hours!
I maintain a regular home practice, but it took me several years of study and practice to get to the point where I was able to self-direct an effective sequence of postures. But you don’t have to know what you’re doing to start doing yoga on your own. Yoga’s popularity in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent years, and there’s no shortage of people and companies who want to help you master the basics and fit yoga into your busy schedule!
One time-saving option is hiring a yoga instructor to come to your home or office for private or semi-private instruction. Your local yoga studio can put you in contact with a certified instructor who does in-home or corporate classes. Or, try searching the Yoga Alliance’s directory of teachers. The cost will vary depending on the teacher, but usually ranges from $50-$100 for an hour of instruction.
Another (less expensive) option is video instruction. You can learn yoga from some of the world’s most preeminent teachers at home. Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners is a popular one, but Amazon.com has a great selection to choose from.
There’s also a growing number of really cool online yoga resources. There are a handful of new sites that allow you to stream live or recorded yoga classes in HD, often taught by celebrity instructors, for a nominal monthly access fee. You can customize your class based on your experience level, specific goals and the amount of time you have to spend practicing. Here are my favorites among such sites:
If you’re looking for free yoga help, check out Tara Stiles’s YouTube channel, where she dispenses practical yoga advice and instruction. Her husband and co-owner of Strala Yoga in New York, Michael Taylor, also has a free, straightforward guide to yoga poses for beginners on MindBodyGreen. Yoga Journal offers a wealth of free videos and comprehensive guides to yoga basics on their website as well.