5 Ways to Do Yoga Every Day

If you follow people who do yoga on Instagram or Twitter, you've probably seen this hashtag: #yogaeverydamnday. It's become a kind of rallying cry, a way for yoga lovers to feel connected and to affirm their commitment to this practice. But is it practical for the average person, especially those who are just getting started? I’m going to say yes, as long as you are very broad-minded about what yoga is. It doesn’t have to be 90 minutes of intensely physical yoga in a class setting. It doesn’t have to be a physical practice at all. Here are 5 ways to have yoga be a part of every day.  

When you incorporate the pillars of yoga into your everyday life, you don't only do yoga, you live it.



Yoga pose
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Asana practice is the most obvious way to do yoga every day. Within this category, there are a lot of options. I’m a big proponent of long-term consistent practice. Treat your yoga as a marathon, not a sprint, meaning it’s better to go to class twice a week for years than to go every day for a few months and then stop. Get on a schedule that works for your lifestyle. I recommend new beginners try to get to class at least two or three times a week. Your first yoga experiences will help build the foundation for your marathon. You want to make sure you are learning good alignment, soaking up information about how your body works, how to use props, and how to sequence poses.

On days you don’t go to class, you can practice on your own at home. Try a morning yoga routine to help you get going or an evening routine to wind down after a busy day. Or check out these ten poses that form the core of my daily home routine, with some variations depending on time available and what I call "special projects" (poses or areas that I want to work on). Online yoga classes are another good way to practice at home. Many have short classes that will fit almost any schedule. Stretching at your desk also counts and will improve your workday. 



Don’t forget about the 4th limb of yoga, breathing. Yes, you are breathing all the time, but pranayama refers to controlling your breath for specific results. Pranayama is a great way to get in a little yoga each day because you can do it almost anywhere. Try cooling breath on a hot subway platform or sama vritti as a way to calm yourself before a big work meeting or right before you go to bed. 



Never tried meditation? People who meditate regularly report big results with just a little time invested. Establishing a consistent time to meditate helps since it’s hard to just decide to do it on the fly. First thing in the morning or just before bed are popular times. Try yoga nidra meditation if you have trouble sleeping.


Practice Kindness and Patience Toward Others

Turn up to work or school with a positive attitude. Give your seat to a fellow commuter. Let that car merge in front of you even though you are in a hurry. Hold the door for the lady pushing the stroller. Be patient with your kids or the harried barista at your local coffee shop. These are all ways to bring your practice into your daily life, which is one of the biggest goals of contemporary yoga. It’s not just about what fancy moves you can do in class. It’s about making life off the mat more pleasant for you and those around you. 


Take Care of Yourself

Some people (you know who you are!) take care of everyone else before themselves. It can be an admirable quality, but it’s very depleting in the long term. The sooner you realize that you have to take care of yourself in order the care for others, the better. Many things can fall under the title of self-care and it’s going to very different for each person. Restorative yoga, working out, reading, eating healthy foods, getting a haircut or massage, therapy, housework, even making sure you get to the dentist regularly.

By now you may be thinking, “wait, did she just say housework can be yoga? Then anything and everything can be yoga!” And that’s pretty much the idea. Anything you do with an attitude of improving your quality of life and therefore the quality of others’ lives you can count as your yoga for the day. All of a sudden, #yogaeverydamnday seems within your reach, right?

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.