A question I am asked as a yoga teacher is how many days a week do I practice yoga. Answer: every day. But the next question should be what is a yoga practice? What it should not be is a source of stress or guilt. Rather, a daily practice should be whatever you have time for, considering what you need each day physically, mentally and spiritually. I often compare yoga to brushing teeth. If you only have time to brush for one minute as opposed to the three minutes my kid’s orthodontist timer recommends, doesn’t that feel better than not brushing at all? Forming habits has little to do with duration and more to do with frequency. And if the oral hygiene starts in the morning, you reap the benefits all day. Maybe later there will still be time for another opportunity to brush longer.
So find out what you need. For me, a morning meditation is a must. But the physical practice ranges from one and a half hours of strong standing postures outside listening to the birds (soon!) to a 20 minute restorative posture hibernating under the covers of my bed (Ohhh Winter – you test me.) Years ago, while struggling with sleep deprivation from twins, anxiety and feeling I “never had time for myself”, I could not do lengthy meditations and a physical yoga practice. “One stop shopping” for body mind and spirit was required. I created this short salutation to the words of a Tecumseh quote that is strategically placed on my bathroom mirror. While it is one thing to wake and read a positive statement of gratitude, it is a stronger experience to embody it.
Disclaimer: this video was filmed in the afternoon after a 1 hour class. Had it been in the morning, it would look like a different body – clothed in pajamas, groggy and stiff. Not even a yoga teacher escapes the morning fascia “fuzz”.