What’s Your No-Excuses Time?

This is a Guest Post Contribution from Anella Wetter

I had practiced yoga for more than ten years, exclusively in studio-based classes. And I loved everything about going to a yoga class—the sweet aroma, the hushed voices, the shared energy and the wisdom of my teachers.

 

As a business traveler, my habit for years had been: schedule my week’s meetings, first, and reserve a spot in a yoga class, second. Third, book a hotel room as close as possible to the yoga studio. Yep—yoga first, hotel second. My habit broke down potential barriers before they actually had a chance to be a problem.

 

Yet, many weeks, I felt frustrated from not having time for even one class. One morning in my hotel room, in a week too busy for a yoga class, I was thinking of ways I might be able to shift this or that in my schedule and make it to a class. Just one. Just one hour.

 

But, what I needed was more than an hour—to arrive at, change clothes, be ready on time, practice yoga, change again, and get to where I needed to be next.

 

I didn’t have time. Not that day. Not any day that week.

 

And then in a moment of pause, I heard a question come up: What can you do, today? What time could you offer yourself? What time could you give to your practice?

 

Those questions seem obvious ones to ask, looking back. But my ritual had been in place for so long that I was blind to other possibilities, like the choice to step on my yoga mat, by myself, right there in my hotel room. I’d traveled with my mat for years but had never rolled it out to practice, solo.

 

That day, I began a new relationship with my yoga practice: I stepped onto my mat for the little time I did have—15 minutes. I moved. I breathed. I felt my body open and extend and flow. That day, I became my own teacher, listening to my own yearnings and shifting to what was possible. This beginning opened up a new, daily ritual of giving myself 15 minutes of sacred time on my mat. After all, a daily 15 adds up to nearly 2 hours a week.

 

If my experience feels familiar—feeling that there’s just no time for your own needs and desires, how can you invite daily practices into your life—whether it’s the movement of yoga, or breathing, or meditating or your personal practice of mindful self-care?

Start by asking what’s possible.

 

I realized that the belief of needing at least an hour was not true. I had allowed myself to feel that anything less than an hour was not good enough. I lapsed into my martyr energy—poor me…my work life is demanding…I can’t do what I really want. When I asked what was possible, I shifted my energy to bring in something new.

Start your day in a purposeful way.

 

When I realized that daily yoga was possible for me, I had to shift the way I was spending time each morning. Morning is my preferred practice time, but I had a habit of starting my day by picking up my phone from the bedside table while still in bed, and beginning to read email and engage in social media. By the time I got out of bed, I felt behind and rushed and often thought, “I don’t have time for yoga today.” I became fully aware of where I was placing my energy, therefore where I was spending my time.

Define your no-excuses time.

 

Occasionally, I am on my mat for longer than 15 minutes. Yet, for most days, 15 minutes works for me. It’s my no-excuses time: on those days when I have the thought of, “I don’t have time for yoga today,” I can quickly call myself out. No excuses. I absolutely can give myself 15 minutes every day. I’ll bet you can, too. If it’s your no-excuses time, then it’s enough.

Close Up - Silver DoorTell us in the comments below how you plan to spend 15 minutes to care for body, mind, and spirit this week. What challenges are you facing to get this time to yourself?

Anella Wetter is a Registered Yoga Teacher and the creator of Be Your Own Yogi™.