Making Time for Yoga

Meditation, breathing practices, relaxation exercises, postures, reading spiritual texts—these are a few yogic techniques that can enrich our lives as well as our practice. But if you are like most of us, you are already trying to squeeze too many activities into your day. So how do you find a way to cram yogic techniques in too?

You don’t. If you try, yoga will become just another source of stress, and you’ll turn your back on it. The trick is to make space for a few practices at a time, and when you do, you will find that the practices themselves will create the time and space you need for them.

Take hatha yoga, for example. A regular, mindful practice of the postures and the breathing practices reduces the need for sleep. So do many of the other changes in lifestyle that come about gradually as our commitment to yoga grows. As whole, fresh foods replace processed foods and our diet becomes light and nourishing, as we cultivate the habit of breathing deeply and diaphragmatically, as we become skilled at reducing the stress in our lives, we find ourselves waking up earlier in the morning and—wonder of wonders—waking up feeling refreshed instead of exhausted.

Early mornings were made for spiritual practice. The phone is silent, the kids aren’t tugging at you, nobody is going to knock on the door, and best of all, your mind is quiet and your nervous system calm. Concentration and meditation come more easily at this hour. So does contemplation. And this is the perfect time to experiment with longer relaxation exercises and maybe even try some of the more time-consuming breathing practices.

So don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to squeeze a bunch of new practices into your life. Start slowly and you will find that as you make time for yoga, yoga will make time for you.

Deborah Willoughby is the founding editor of Yoga+ Joyful Living and president emeritus of the Himalayan Institute

By Deborah Willoughby, Yoga+


Vita Pagh
Vita P5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Tim C.
Tim C6 years ago


Harald Lins
Harald Lins6 years ago

My wife wants to practice yoga. She'll like to know these information. Thank you.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago


May Howie
may Howie7 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Tim Cheung
Tim C7 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O7 years ago


Shiatsu Cat
Past Member 8 years ago

I'll be checking out the exercises and the magazine.
It would be so nice if a day could have more hours.... Let's see the agenda and skip some boring meetings to create time

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan8 years ago

Yoga is for the body as meditation is for the mind. Thanks.