That is a funny thing about a yoga practice – it doesn’t work if you don’t do it. 🙂 Yes, we are all busy and making time for a 90-minute class (plus all the driving-parking-changing-etc. time) is not easy for many students. But almost anybody can do a little something at home. That’s why we always encourage our students to practice on their own.
Of course, we can’t MAKE anybody do yoga. But what we CAN do is break it down into manageable pieces and make it relevant to our students. Let’s say your student likes to play golf – excellent! Doing a little yoga before the game will loosen him up, prevent potential injury and may even improve his swing. Or let’s say your student spends a lot of time in front of the computer (who doesn’t ?). We all know how the neck and back get stiff, breathing gets shallow, attention starts to drift after staring at the screen for some time. But if she does a short yoga practice right there in front of her desk, it will release tension, improve energy and refocus her mind.
Convincing a student to do some yoga before or after an activity that they are already doing is much easier then to begin a general home practice. Once you get their attention and begin to design a practice for them, it’s easy to fall into a trap of too much. Yes, we know a lot, and yes, we want to maximize the benefit for the student, but let me ask you – is she more likely to do a practice that’s 7 minutes long or the one that’s 40 minutes long? Exactly. It doesn’t matter if the practice you design for your student is absolutely fantastic, if she doesn’t do it, she won’t get any benefit.
It needs to be short enough not to be threatening, yet long enough to make a difference. We call those practices “yoga snacks” because they are short, to the point and easy to do in the course of the day, anywhere you are. Here is how you do it (click on the image to see full details).
In the next post we will illustrate how to use those guidelines to create a short preparatory practice for shoveling snow (for all those dealing with blizzards!) In the one after that we will design a short stretch break at the desk. Stay tuned for “yoga snacks” for long car rides, air travel, skiing, hiking, gardening and more! You can also request a practice for a specific activity that you like to do, just mention it in the comments below!