Yoga is more than just poses performed on a mat. It’s a way of life. Here, we explore how to practice yoga as an integral part of your daily life so you can be at your best, whatever you’re doing. Keep reading for five tips that will help you feel more rested, focused, and energized.
Yoga is essentially a practice of asanas—poses meant to facilitate the flow of energy to various parts of the body. It is, in many ways, a union of body and mind. But yoga does not create this union. It simply enables us to feel the union which already exists.
A master yogi has this union at all times. She feels it not only in her body, but in her surroundings, her food, her friends, her family, her things, and her life. In doing so, yoga transcends being a series of poses performed on a mat. It becomes a state of mind.
Here are five ways to take your yoga practice to the next level at any time.
#1 Breathe Deeply
You can do this while you’re sitting at work, driving, or even watching Netflix. Ideally, take in a deep breath through your nose, and exhale slowly through your nose or mouth, whichever you prefer. A three-second inhale and three-second exhale is good to start. You should increase durations as you get comfortable with them. Over the long term, this simple practice will increase stamina, help you stay focused, and give you more energy.
#2 Sit Up Straight
Posture plays a big role in how our bodies feel. The way you stand, walk, or sit affects your muscles, your state of mind, and the way you move on the mat. We recommend you sit and walk straight so that you stretch your spine at all times. This will make your muscles less tense and sore, and you will be able to perform asanas even better. This simple change in your life will affect you in more ways than you can imagine.
#3 Sleep Well
Our bodies are not fixed, unchanging things. They are alive. Cells die constantly and are reborn every day. A great deal of this rebuilding happens when we sleep. Help your body in this process by taking the rest you need. Aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night. You’ll feel the difference in your body, your mind, and your life.
#4 Live Mindfully
One can practice yoga anywhere—on the mat, in the boardroom, or even while waiting in line at the grocery store. One can attain a state of mindfulness at any time, anywhere. In fact, master yogis believe that one should always be in a state of yoga: conscious of your actions and totally focused on the task at hand. By being completely focused and in the moment at all times you’ll achieve higher levels of energy, reduce stress, and develop a profound awareness of what’s going on around you.
#5 Eat Whole Food
Nothing impacts our bodies more than what we eat. In fact, you could say that your diet is as important as performing asanas. You need whole foods to nourish your body and provide you with valuable nutrients that will power your day. We sincerely believe in this, which is why all Performance Kitchen meals are made with whole grains, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts, avocado oil, antibiotic-free chicken, and controlled sodium and sugar. One of our most popular meals is our vegan and gluten-free Great Karma Coconut Curry. It’s a lightly spiced curry with garbanzo beans, kale, red bell peppers, black lentils, carrots, cauliflower, and butternut squash, served over brown jasmine rice, making it the perfect meal to complement your yoga practice and ensure you perform your best throughout the day.
Yoga is more than just the asanas you perform. It’s being mindful even when you’re off the mat; being compassionate even when you don’t feel like doing so; being aware of your actions even when you’re stressed; and being aware of what you eat as you take every bite.