I wish I could say that being a yoga teacher automatically means I am 100 percent stress-free, in tune with my surrounding energy, and zen AF at all times. But if I did, I'd totally be lying. Everyone gets those stressed and frazzled feelings from time to time, and that includes even the most advanced yogis out there. That's why it's important to learn how to use your mat and your breath as tools for anxiety management. And when an aggressively busy schedule is simply unavoidable, finding ways to use yoga for stress management is key to finding an overall sense of calm in your day.
Whether your practice includes meditation, restorative postures, an intense and sweaty flow, or all of the above, yoga can definitely improve your physical and mental health, and help you handle even the most stressful and seemingly impossible-to-get-through situations. And the best part? Literally anyone can do it.
Yoga may not change what's actually happening around you, but it will change your point of view on the situation and leave you with a refreshed and positive state of mind.
And if your concerns lie in the fact that your to-do list is endless and your schedule never ceases to be hectic, put your worries to bed. If you ask me, the best flows are the ones that are kept short and sweet.
Here are five rejuvenating yoga flows that are only 10 minutes long, but are guaranteed to leave you feeling like you just got a rejuvenating spa treatment.
1. Mindful Morning Flow
One of the best ways to squeeze some yoga into your busy schedule is to set aside 10 minutes right when you roll out of bed.
Starting off the day with deep breathing and mindful movement will set a positive tone for your morning and help you handle any difficult situations that come your way throughout the day.
Try setting an intention before you begin your flow, such as "I am grateful," or "I am enough."
2. Self-Care Flow
Sometimes, with all the chaos that seems to be going on around you, it's easy to forget one of the simplest, yet most important parts of any lifestyle: self-care.
Setting time aside for this self-care-infused flow will give your body all the TLC it's craving in just 10 short minutes.
3. Focus And Productivity Flow
Stress, especially in the workplace, often comes from lack of focus and procrastination. If your brain is feeling foggy and dull, take a break and squeeze in this "focus and productivity" flow to get the juices flowing.
According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, short yoga sessions can improve mental clarity and ability to process information.
So ditch the double espresso and roll out your mat instead for a restorative flow that won't leave you with those unwanted caffeine-induced jitters.
4. De-Stress Flow
Sometimes, relaxing breathing techniques and calming movements are all your body needs to wind down from a hectic, stressful day.
If you find yourself making excuses not to get on your mat, remind yourself that it's only 10 minutes, and that stopping what you're doing and actively flipping your perspective will do your body and mind a world of good.
5. Bedtime Flow
Keep your mat right next to your bed so that if you skip out on your morning flow, you can squeeze in 10 minutes of yoga right before you hit the hay.
Finishing your day with a bit of mindful stretching is sure to undo any tension that sitting at a desk all day caused in your hips, shoulders, neck, or lower back (or all of the above; the struggle is real, fam).
And think about it this way: After you're done, going to bed will basically be like a seven-hour savasana.
Sign. Me. Up.