A daily yoga practice of 60 minutes or less may seem like a luxury for many busy, frazzled mums, but taking just 5 minutes to practice can be the key to transformation.
What happens if you never take 5 minutes for yourself?
Just as before every flight we are told that in case of cabin depressurization we need to put on our oxygen mask first so that we can help someone else, taking care of yourself is a prerequisite to being able to take care of the needs of others.
When you always put yourself off, you may start to resent the people around you (your partner, your children, friends who have more time), you get cranky easily, and perhaps overreact.
Without energy you may be too tired to do extra activities, play with your children or spend time with your partner, your performance at work can decline and you may feel neglected.
The body has an effective way of showing us that we need to regain strength: when we are exhausted the immune system weakens and we get sick easily and more often. Muscle aches and migraines caused by stress are common.
Dedicating a few minutes of attention to deep breathing, closing the eyes, sitting quietly in silence or even performing one or two asanas is like planting a seed for a healthy habit to develop: taking care of ourselves. Focusing on ourselves on a daily basis is not selfish, it is an act of kindness that has a direct effect on the way we interact with the rest of the world.
What are the benefits of a daily 5-minute yoga practise?
• Calms the mind and organises your thoughts
• Helps you to unwind
• Reduces stress and calms anxiety
• Replenishes your energy to enjoy family and social life more
• Lifts your spirits
• Helps you see things from a different perspective
• Improves concentration
• Helps you to become more aware of the quality of your thoughts
• Makes you feel more in control of your life
• It connects you with your physical sensations
• Improves flexibility and increases range of motion
• Improves posture
• Creates a better relationship with yourself
• Reinforces the idea of self-care as part of your daily routine
• Helps you develop discipline
Decide, with determination, that you deserve a few minutes a day for yourself. No one else will do that for you!
These five minutes can take different forms depending on your needs: it can be a short meditation before starting the day or shortly before going to bed, writing in a journal, doing some breath work, practising mindfulness, doing a few postures according to your needs (a short fiery practice to boost your energy or a relaxing stretch to calm you down), singing or repeating an affirmation or mantra. Choose something simple that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
To reflect on:
- What would your life be like if you took short breaks in between?
- How much time could you realistically dedicate each day to a short self-care ritual?
- What would it be like?