One person’s yoga practice can look very different to another’s, and what we need from our own practice can vary wildly from week to week. That’s why we wanted to share some ideas for creating a ‘yoga toolkit’ that allows for changing schedules and fluctuating energy levels.
Building your yoga toolkit means finding a combination of practices that you enjoy, that support you mentally and physically and that fit into even your busiest weeks.
Breathe Studio’s weekly live yoga and fitness class schedule is designed to provide a balanced
movement practice that aligns with the rhythm of many people’s lives – restorative practices to
begin the week, targeted midweek sessions and longer weekend classes. Of course, this scheduling won’t work for everyone, and the benefit of our live catch-ups and library classes is that you can curate your own weekly yoga programme according to what works best for you.
When planning your weekly online yoga and movement classes, we recommend the following:
- Plan ahead
We find planning is key: choose yoga classes you know will fit into the coming week, diarise them, get your yoga gear out in advance and brief housemates or family if you’re using a shared space. Preparing yourself mentally and getting everything ready makes it easier to stick to the plan.
- Set realistic expectations
There will be days when you can spend longer on the yoga mat, and days when you can only spare a few minutes. Practising consistently really helps establish yoga as part of your routine, so during busy weeks think ‘little and often’ and just aim for the shortest yoga classes, pose tutorials, meditation or breathwork sessions. A little goes a long way with yoga – even a few minutes can positively impact your mood, energy, focus and interactions.
Things don’t always go to plan and it’s important not to give yourself a hard time when that
happens. Go with how you feel, what you need and what’s possible on the day – if that’s just a few minutes’ long, slow breathing then congratulate yourself for that. It’s all yoga and it’s all good.
- Embrace variety
Our bodies and brains benefit from variation and trying new movement patterns. It keeps us
mentally stimulated and physically challenged. Why not try one new class a week from the library for a while and see if you discover a new favourite?
- Identify your needs and goals
Building your yoga toolkit begins with really noticing which yoga practices make you feel better and help sustain you throughout the day, so you can do more of them. Maybe there are a few stretches you really love, so when you don’t have time for a full session you could spend five minutes doing those. You might also want to identify personal goals, such as looking in depth at a particular pose.
- Explore meditation and breathwork
Meditation and breathwork are both elements of yoga that can be done in a few minutes, wherever you are, and can really change the way you experience your day. Many people like meditating first thing, but meditation and breathwork also work well at transition points, as a way of grounding and resetting before moving between projects or from work to
personal life. The more you practise reaching for these tools, the more accessible they become in times of stress, when we really need them. In essence, building a yoga toolkit is about thinking ‘how can I use yoga to support myself today?’ and working with the time and energy you have. Forward planning helps ensure we hit the mat regularly, but we can also learn to take yoga off the mat and dip into the practices whenever we need them.
We love hearing from you – let us know if this was helpful and how you get on. See you on the mat!