How to do yoga all day everyday, without lycra!

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Posted by Liz Goulder (Renewed You Yoga) on 28 Apr 2016

Before becoming a Yoga Teacher, I was a Litigation lawyer for many years. This involved preparing cases for Court and jumping to the command of Partners and those higher up the food chain. My job involved being right, all the time, and if you weren’t right then finding some way to argue that you were right. It involved finding holes, points to score and A LOT of banter. It was stressful at times and these yoga tips would have helped me then and could help you now:

1) Breathe. It sounds simple but just check in now as you read this. Where are you feeling the movement of your breath? Most of us shallow breathe from our chest (a fight and flight response). See if you can take your breath down to your belly on an inhale and release from your belly on an exhale.

2) Find some activity which absorbs your full concentration – yoga, meditation, walking, running or cooking. Meditation is any activity in which you are engaging fully and positively. Make time, if only 5-10 mins a day, to meditate in your own way.

3) Be kind to yourself. The phone rings and the client is mad. They received your bill. Your heart stops. You have to explain to the client and then go and confess to your boss. Notice where your thoughts go in moments of high stress – are you chastising yourself for not pre-empting the situation? Whatever your thought reaction is – try and notice it and then stop it. Our mind has a programmed pattern of behaviour particularly in negative situations and we can spiral down into a pit of despair before we realise it.

4) This too shall pass. I used to get particularly nervous appearing before Judges in Tribunals and despite prepping for days I’d always feel slightly panicky. I’d often repeat to myself “it’s only an hour of my life” and it was my way of acknowledging that the moment, the feeling, was only temporary, and it would soon be over. Remind yourself of that in the good moments and the less good moments and savour the experience.

5) You can’t do it all. Accept that sometimes you need to take shortcuts, that you buy fairy cakes for your kids party instead of baking them from scratch because it was that or the kid turned up to said party like the great unwashed in dirty clothing. That unnamed pressure to be perfect isn’t real. No one finds you that interesting. That may sound unkind but see it as liberating and free yourself from the need to be the perfect husband /wife /parent /boss /son/daughter/friend /baker/candlestickmaker.

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