We all have bad days where our plans need to be adjusted or postponed in order to deal with whatever’s going on. It’s nice to look forward to attending a 90-minute yoga class at a specific time that has been planned since last week, but when life unexpectedly gets in the way, we sometimes have to sacrifice parts of our practice to prioritize our other needs.
That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our practice altogether. Though we may fall ill, experience something emotionally upsetting, feel physically exhausted, or be required to take care of something that leaves us with little time to practice, there’s always a way to modify our practice so that we can still make it a daily ritual.
Just because we can’t roll our mats out and move through a series of poses for 30, 60, or 90 minutes every day doesn’t mean we can’t still practice daily. Any one of the following still counts as daily practice.
Remember that moving our bodies is just one small part of yoga. In yoga, mind, body, and spirit are unified in a way that brings us closer to experiencing oneness with the Universe.
Meditation, then, is an important part of a yoga practice because it involves increasing awareness and surrendering to reality. Though it’s often more uncomfortable to do on bad days, meditation is often most beneficial when we’re feeling very emotional or when we find that our minds are racing with thoughts.
Just Do One Pose
Who says we have to move through long sequences of poses to make our practice count? Even if we just have two minutes, we all have the freedom to choose one pose that best soothes our minds and bodies so that we can get back to a more balanced state.
If anxiety is the problem, child’s pose may be the best pose of choice. If it’s an upset stomach, perhaps bound angle pose could help. On bad days especially, it’s the quality of the pose you choose to do — not the quantity, that really matters.
Connect to Nature
There’s nothing quite like stepping into nature and feeling the neurotic tendencies of the ego start to weaken almost instantly. When a full mat practice is out of the question, getting outside is a great way to ground ourselves and connect to everything around us.
Best of all, there’s no need to get out to a heavily wooded area to do it. Simply stepping outside the door to feel the breeze, gaze at the sky, or even notice and appreciate one of the few trees in any urban area can be enough.
Tip: Notice Attachments to Practicing
Above all, it’s important for us to recognize whether we may be attached to a certain way of practicing. Though yoga is all about embracing what is, ironically, we can get a little obsessive about making sure we carve out the right amount of time every day to fit a certain type of practice in.
We can all benefit from noticing our attachment and letting it go. Not every day is going to go perfectly according to plan, and that’s okay, because that’s life.
Let us detach from our rigid ways, embrace uncertainty, and flow along with whatever comes our way.