How To Extend Your Yoga Practice Throughout The Day

Yoga is sacred… healthy… pure.

It’s something that should be cherished, even after the practice is over. From my experience, my mood seems to be lifted and I sense a better overall feeling of well-being after I leave a yoga class. The body is warmed up, and the mind set free. The feeling is a good one, but how do you make that last throughout the rest of the day… or even the rest of the week? I’ve been focusing on a few key things lately to help me hold on to that good feeling and extend my yoga practice, all it takes is a little attention, and a little awareness:

yp6ss

Surround Yourself With Calming Things

Incense. Yes.

The calming power that incense has on me is instantaneous. Nag champa in particular. Its warm scent reminds me of home in so many ways; watching the thick smoke trail from the burning ember relaxes all stresses within. Sometimes I’ll focus my gaze on it, and I notice my mind closing in on a meditative state. At home and at work, I always keep the things that calm me close to bring better energy to my surroundings. The scent of burning palo santo during Shavasana is one of my favorite parts of yoga. Even if it’s just having a bundle of that incorporated on my desk somewhere, it reminds me to check back in to a more peaceful state as the day goes on.

breathing

Focus On Your Breathing

This is something that’s really beneficial during a long work day, and can easily bring zen into your atmosphere. If an email comes in that contributes added stress, or if my work load for the day is piling up, I’ll do a couple breathing exercises to fend off anxiety. We are told to be aware of our breathing during yoga, so having that same awareness throughout the rest of the day only benefits us further. To bring in a bit of balance, a breathing technique called “Nadi Shodhana” — or “alternate nostril breathing” — is great to practice at work. Place one thumb over the right nostril, and inhale deeply through the left. When you can’t inhale anymore, close off the left nostril and exhale through the right. Continuing this pattern can exude a calming effect on the body and it’s believed to unite the left and right sides of the brain. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this at your desk, the bathroom is a great spot to slip away to for a little bit more privacy when you’re feeling stressed.

eat clean

Eat Clean

Yoga betters your entire body and soul. What you’re putting into that body should be highly considered, especially after you’ve worked it out. Eating clean throughout the day is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to extend my yoga practice. Yoga makes me feel light and refreshed, and eating poorly can quickly erase that. I like to stick to greens and some form of protein. I’m not a full vegetarian, but I really enjoy eating like one. On the days where I can fit in a yoga session, I pay closer attention to what I’m eating, before and after. I like to stock up on potassium-packed foods that are wholesome, yet light. If you’re putting time and effort into your practice, nourishing the body with all the right things should follow suit. Need some inspiration? Check out our recipe section!

Posture Practice

Having proper posture is key during yoga. A straight spine and open airway helps circulation and breath flow throughout the body. At work, I have a tendency to slouch in my chair without even realizing it. For one, this just looks bad, and two, it’s not healthy. I try and check back in with my seating position and make sure I’m practicing good posture. Switching out a normal office chair for a yoga ball is also something a lot of my co-workers do to force themselves into having good posture throughout the day. This also helps strengthen the core! This two-in-one is something I need to test out for myself!

mantra

Set Your Mantra

Setting an intention is crucial for bringing your yoga practice to the next level. Yoga isn’t just a physical practice — it also helps train the mind. The intention that is set helps guide us to an end goal, both inside the classroom and out. So be sure not to forget it when you walk out the door. Instead, let it linger with you throughout the day.

I like to have a mantra for each day I tackle. I’ll set it as soon as I awake. Let it go, Don’t worry, Everything will be fine… these are just a few I use over and over again. If something comes at me full force and handling it seems like the hardest thing to do, I’ll think back to my mantra and close my eyes. I’ll repeat it a couple times in my head, take a deep breath, and let everything out. I remind myself that all days are good days, and nothing is impossible.

How do you like to extend your yoga practice throughout the day? I’d love to hear your tips!

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rae
6 years ago

Excellent post and great tips. I too love the calm that I feel after yoga – which is equal to a massage but costs a lot less! And I’m always trying to prolong this feeling. The breathing tip is a really good one and can be done just about anywhere.

Rae | love from berlin

Monica
6 years ago

Great article, I love these tips – makes me want to start using an exercise ball at my desk! I totally agree that eating healthy helps me extend my yoga practice throughout the day. In addition to eating healthy, staying hydrated with water and tea is something that really helps me. The warmth of the tea helps relax my muscles and keep my whole body warm. I also have a lavender scented lotion that I use when my hands get dry in the winter which duels as stress relief from the scent. I tend to get really tense in my neck and shoulders from years of playing volleyball and working at a desk all day can really aggravate these muscles. If I am felling really tense I will take a few moments to stretch out my neck muscles which really helps me stay relaxed through the work day. I enjoy finding yoga videos on youtube that I practice before I go to work in the morning and at night before I go to bed. One I have been loving for my neck and shoulder pain is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiHIs7_iMl8.

6 years ago

Yes. Yes to this post — all of it. I feel like I’ve only just finally committed to this kind of extension of a yoga-state of mind, bleeding my practice into my life. From picking up mossy sticks, watering my tiny succulents, collecting tiny beeswax candles, I’ve been striving to also surround myself with calming things. Eating healthy and whole, remembering to check in with my breath, and repeating a soul-kind mantra … all amazing ways to strengthen my inner core and hold steady onto a sense of peace. Thank you!

6 years ago

I absolutely love sitting on my exercise ball at work. It keeps my core strong and a slight rocking motion can also increase blood flow through the legs.

http://www.thatscoralynn.com

6 years ago

love this. x

Jen
6 years ago

I love cat pose.
I think yoga is really good for health!

http://www.safran-bolu.com

6 years ago

Pinning this! I’m looking forward to setting up a yoga space soon. This would be great to have printed and put in an album there for inspiration.

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Julia
6 years ago

I practically live for yoga and meditation, but I recently fell down a flight of stairs and have been dealing with back pain and full body soreness since. I am a little scared to do yoga now because I don’t want to make things worse. How can I get back into yoga without straining myself?

2 years ago

Thanks for explaining that setting a mantra can help us establish intention, which is crucial if we want to bring our yoga to the next level. Lately I’ve been wanting to try restorative yoga to help me feel more balanced in my life and connected to the energy of the world. I’m glad I read your article because I think following your tips will help me get the most out of the experience of practicing yoga!