Yoga takes practice ? lots of it. To experience the full benefits of the Ancient Indian ritual, one must commit to a daily communion with breath and body. That is until life gets in the way. There's nothing like a fresh blowdry begging for a stay of execution to put the kibosh on a 2-hour Bikram session. Let's not get started on PMS, dead car batteries, unexpected house guests or a case of the can't-be-arsed. When you'd much rather salute your sofa than the sun, swap Vinyasa for a vino or, indeed, find the nearest Centra than your centre, there's a hack for that. So clean that conscience kiddo and take the short cut to being an om diva.
Breath is yoga. Trippy statement but true. One doesn't exist without the other. A handy fact to remember when late nights at the office interfere with your mat time. Simply sit back in your chair and breathe. No fancy nostril shenanigans or diaphragm acrobatics here; just plain deep belly breaths. Inhale through your nose, filling your lungs to full capacity as if starting from the pit of your stomach through your chest to the top of your throat. Exhale completely in reverse order. Repeat several times. Good for: re-energising; grounding; mental clarity.
There comes an age when everything just seems to seize up. Knees lock, ankles click and very often, upon moving too quickly, suspended animation takes over. Mandukasana (frog pose) is the preferred asana for preventing Tin Man episodes but when space doesn't allow try this clever modification. Sit in a chair (in lieu of the front of your calves) using a flat surface on which to lean forward and stretch your arms in the usual position. Good for: travelling, the desk-bound and time-strapped.
What Would Buddha Do?
Let's face it. No one's a saint; not even Buddha. Queue jumpers, road ragers, delayed trains and stupid smartphones can all press our buttons. Instead of pounding the alarm, look to the example set by the good eggs of this world and match your behaviour accordingly. If in doubt, repeat the yogic salutation 'Namaste' (Sanskrit for 'I see the Divinity in you.') until the chaotic energy shifts and your thoughts are guided to a more balanced state. Good for: keeping cool when everyone else is losing theirs.
By Annmarie O'Connor @aocdotme