What's your go-to yoga practice when you're short on time?
You’ve practiced with them on YogaGlo. You’ve followed them on Facebook. You might even take their classes in person once in awhile if they travel to or live in your city. But how well do you know our YogaGlo teachers? We’ve created a new series, Ask a Yogi, so you can learn more about them by asking questions you’ve always wanted to ask.
From favorite poses and tips for beginners to deeper questions about how their practice has changed their worldview, our teachers will collectively answer a new question each week. If you have a question you’d like to “Ask a Yogi” let us know in the comments or email us at email@example.com and we’ll add your questions to the list. Today’s Ask a Yogi question is:
- Elena Brower: “One deep breath.”
- Kathryn Budig: “I practice either the asthanga first series or do my own mini practice at home when I don’t have much time. As long as I get my sun salutes, some solid standing poses, a few twists, handstands and a good backbend followed by deep hips I’m happy.”
- Jason Crandell: “I can’t say that I have one go-to practice when I’m pressed for time, but I’ve gotten to know my body well enough over the years that I know that my hips need daily maintenance—especially my hip-flexors. So, if I’m in pinch, I usually dig into the full-circumference of my hip-joint and make sure that I’ve done my due diligence there. If my hips feel spacious, mobile and balanced, the rest of me usually feels pretty good and my mind seems relatively sane. If they don’t get taken care of, everything gets cranky (yes, yoga teachers get cranky, too). I’ve also figured out how important it is to scale my practice according to the time and energy that I have. I used to try to cram a ton of things into short practices, thinking that I had to get my laundry list of postures and body parts done. I’ve certainly matured out of this mindset, which, honestly, made me feel more scattered and pressed for time anyway. If I don’t have much time, I don’t do much. I’d rather do fewer poses for longer with greater skill and deeper relaxation than take a buckshot approach in which I try “to get everything in.”
- Tiffany Cruikshank: “Standing poses, I can’t say enough how much I am a huge fan of standing poses. As in life it’s the simple things that give us the most bang for our buck. When I’m in a pinch I can bang out a really potent standing practice in 30mins.”
- Steven Espinosa: “When time is tight and I can’t get a full practice in the first area I go to is the lower body. Given that we all spend so much of our daily lives sitting, driving and working at computers, it’s usually my hips, hamstrings, thighs and lower back that need the most immediate attention. I also find that by opening up those areas it calms my central nervous system down in a way which helps me feel more grounded and centered during or after a long hard day.”
- Marc Holzman: “For those of us who are accustomed to a standard 90 minute practice, the thought of a 30-45 minute session may seem like the Great Yogic Rip-off. So here’s the key: FOCUS. INTENTION. DISCIPLINE. If you are super clear about what you would like to do in your short practice, it’s astonishing what you can accomplish in 30 minutes. Turn the phones off. Put the computer to sleep. I reserve one minute to sit, close my eyes, tap into Consciousness and recite a mantra. I never sacrifice a moment of centering and sweetness simply because I have a time constraint. A full spectrum, potpourri practice is my choice so I can hit all body parts. After a few Surya Namaskars, I target one or two poses from each of the major categories: Standing Poses, Hand Balancing (always includes one timed handstand for at least one minute), Twists, Inversions (always a headstand for at least 5 minutes), Some Hip Openers/Thigh Stretches, Backbends (always includes three Urdhva Dhanurasanas), Deeper Forward Bends and Hip Openers (always one Hanumanasana and Padmasana), Pranayama, Savasana (always … even for just 2 minutes). When the boundaries of time are constrained, my resolve and intensity grows ~ thus during these practices I move in a quick (but mindful) flow. I don’t hold poses for very long, and I generally don’t stop to take breaks.”
- Amy Ippoliti: “A down dog, a handstand, and a prasarita paddotanasana with hands clasped overhead (because it’s an all-in-one pose that gets your hamstrings, hips, shoulders and it inverts you!). If I’m lucky a little supta virasana is the cherry on top.”
- Tara Judelle: “For me, there really is no “go-to” practice. I always check in with my body, see- does it need fire, and something stimulating, like handstands, or does it need a cooling reset? No matter what, it is always to assess what it needs, and attend to that.”
- Dice Iida-Klein: “My go to practice is a 1min. hold in handstand and hollow back forearm balance. Tons of stretching from the floor, including upavistha konasana, janu sirsasana plus variations, ardha matsyendrasana, core work with a block between my thighs and a few supine postures like padanguthasana, happy baby and twists from the floor.”
- Noah Mazé: “This depends on what is pressing, where my energy is, and where I would like my energy to be. There are days when I am tired, and have only a short time to practice, and want to be rejuvenated. On those days, I will practice the basic inversions (down dog, uttanasana, prasarita padottanasana, sirsana, halasana and sarvangasana). On other days, when I want to energize and focus, I will simply do 5 Surya Namaskar A and 5 Surya Namaskar B. And there are days when I practice a shortened version of the sequence that I will be teaching, to get it fresh in my body and mind.”
- Christina Sell: “1 minute Child’s Pose, 1 minute Down dog, 1 minute Standing forward bend, 1 minute wide-legged standing forward bend, 5 minute headstand, 2 minute plough pose, 5 minute shoulder stand, 2 minute corpse pose”
- Stephanie Snyder: “In my twenties and early thirties I did 2-3 hours of yoga a day- everyday, no matter what. I had tons of time and a flexible schedule that allowed me a long luxurious practice. Gratefully, over the years my life has become even more blessed and full with family and work and fun. So while I may not get several hours everyday anymore, I CAN do something everyday. My go-to practice when Im pressed for time is simply 5 surya namaskar A and 5 surya namaskar B. This can be mindfully done in 20 minutes and includes a pretty complete practice of strengthening, front and back body openers, and Ujayyi breath. If I have 30 minutes, I’ll link some standing poses into the surya B series- usually parsvakonasana (side stretch) and Parvritta Trikonasana (twisting triangle). If I have 45 minutes I’ll add a backbend and follow that up with straddle forward fold and of course at least 5 minutes for Savasana. The longer I practice, the more I realize that its not about the poses, that my practice has no particular boundary in time, does not exist solely on my mat or my meditation cushion or in front of my harmonium- but in fact my practice begins when I open my eyes in the morning and ends when I close them at night.”
- Jo Tastula: “Cat/cow (majaryasana/bitilasana or chakravakasana) can be an entire practice for me these days. The gentle wave like motion through the core of the body enhances flexibility of the spine and supports the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which is essential for well being and feelings of well being. It’s something I can do that doesn’t require a lot of energy and in my experience it creates energy! The rhythm of chakravakasana draws attention to the breath, the core abdominal muscles and how they coordinate with the breath. It transports me into that innate primal place that occurs all on it’s own and requires no thought or analytical process. It seems to evoke and stimulate the yummy creative juices and from there the practice evolves and I simply go with the flow.”
- Harshada Wagner: “Slowing down. If I’m not going to do a formal practice, I just slow down in the midst of whatever else I’m doing. Even if I am super pressed for time and going fast wherever I am going, I try to have the inner awareness, “slow down” so that I can connect with my Heart. I sort of say, “Okay Harshada, this is it- this is all you get right now, so make it count.” Then wherever I am, in the elevator going to my teaching space, getting dressed in the morning, taking a shower, whatever, I just slow down my whole inner experience and savor the moment. I connect to my heart and keep moving into wherever I am needed.”
Don’t forget – if you have a question you’d like to “Ask a Yogi” let us know in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add your questions to the list. Stay tuned for next week’s Ask a Yogi where the question answered might be yours!