So you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, now how can you apply Yoga ideals to your daily lifestyle?
Yoga has become a popular way to take a couple hours a week to de-stress, build awareness and take a fresh new perspective into your day.
But, did you know that yoga is designed to build a foundation of fundamental principles into your entire life?
From developing quality sleep to creating a more mindful you, here are four fundamental principles of yoga that you should take home from the studio to build a better you.
1) Manage in-the-moment stress
Control, breath, and focus are all principles of yoga meant to keep you in the now. But, did you know that these are also the primary way that you can easily manage minor threats of stress that pop in and out of your everyday life?
When we feel stressed our fight or flight mechanism immediately begins to work creating an increased heartbeat, faster blood flow, sweat production and a variety of other anxious symptoms.
Learning how to manage your thoughts, focus, and control your breathing are the best way to manage those bouts of stress. Use the skills that you learn during your yoga class to see you through all situations off your yoga mat and in your daily life.
2) Become more present
You will constantly be reminded to come back to your breath and to the present moment in your yoga class. Why? Because the present moment is the only place life exists. It is the only place happiness exists. It is the only place you can stand in your power. So it’s a very important place to be, both on and off the mat.
Those that focus a lot on the future tend to experience more anxiety. Those who focus on the past (and often with rose tinted glasses for ‘the good old days’) tend to feel more depressed. Practicing present moment mindfulness both on and off the mat will improve your life HUGELY.
3) Sleep Better
Improving sleep quality is one of the most important things you can do to improve your life.
How does your yoga practice help you to improve the quality of your sleep? Practicing Savasana. Savasana or Corpse pose is usually placed at the end of a class. During this posture you will be encouraged to relax your whole body, often through a body scan. You may be talked through all of the different body parts and told to relax them. This is a skill that you can use as you are preparing yourself for sleep.
Deepening your breath as you lay on your bed in Savasana is another sure way to fall into a deep sleep. Count to 5 on your inhale and to 8 on your exhale. Lengthening the exhale helps to slow the heart rate and relax the nervous system. Focusing completely on the breath also helps to calm the mind.
4) Develop routine
Yoga can teach us the discipline of routine which also allows you to get the most out of your day. When developing a routine, keep it simple and even flexible by tackling the important parts of the day.
For most people, that would be when you wake up and when you go to sleep. Creating an evening routine when going to sleep will help you develop a better quality sleep, which studies show about 35% of Austrailians don’t achieve each night. An evening routine might include a long bath, dimming the lights and turning all electrical devices off at least an hour before bed time, turning phone to flight mode, reading a book or going yourself a foot massage.
A morning routine sets you on pace for a good start to the day which we all need. Your morning routine may include some energising breathing exercises, a huge glass of water with lemon, a cold shower and a 5 minute centering meditation.
Bio: Laurie Larson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing on home, health, and lifestyle topics to help others make the most out of their lives.