I have a post-it note taped to the wall in my home practice space. It reads “Right now I am practicing. This is the BEST thing I can be doing with my time right now. Nothing else requires my attention at this time.”

post-it_practiceSo, yes. I admit it – even we yoga teachers sometimes have trouble giving ourselves the time to practice!

My post-it note reminds me that it’s important to carve out that time to do yoga and meditate, and it helps orient me to the present moment while I’m doing those practices. Otherwise, even when I do unroll my mat, it’s all too easy to go through the motions of a few poses, meanwhile planning the next activity. I know I’m not alone on this!

The thing is, we’re busy people, and we’re human. Something else is almost always going to feel more urgent than taking time for yourself. It takes a conscious decision to let those things go, even for a little while.

The reality is, your emails and messy sock drawers will probably still be there for you to deal with after an hour of yoga. Even if, or especially if, there’s bigger drama going on in your life at the moment, most things can wait for a short time. And they will probably be easier to cope with, too, if you take some time to restore equilibrium in your body and mind.

This is why practicing in a group class with a teacher is so helpful. The group energy helps keep you in synch with the present moment, and the guidance of the teacher helps you stay focused, so it’s easier to let go of your busy-ness for a while.

The hard part is getting out the door and committing the time to go to class in the first place!

What helps me is to remember that practicing yoga and meditation always boosts my effectiveness in those other oh-so-important activities and realms of life. It’s counter-intuitive, because you’d think you’d be more productive when spending more time on your to-do list, but when you take some of that time to practice, you think more clearly, you have more energy, and you’re better focused on each task at hand.

I’ve never once regretted taking the time to go to class, do yoga, or meditate. After my practice, my perspective seems to adjust, and the urgent urgency of daily life seems to shift back into its proper place in the grand scheme of things.

So, try this: next time you come out of savasana at the end of class, make a mental note of how you feel. And remember that feeling next time you’re planning your schedule. And, while you’re at it, make your own post-it note in case you forget!

I hope to see you in class soon. ~ Namaste ~

Addie deHilster, E-RYT 500, is an experienced yoga teacher and Co-Owner of Spiral Path Yoga Center. She teaches several yoga and meditation classes a week here, and leads the studio’s Teacher Training and Certification program, as well as Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings.