3 simple tools to extend your yoga practice into every day – you’re smarter than you think!


Any of you who’ve attended my yoga classes will have heard me go on about how ‘yoga’ is a much broader term and means a whole lot more than just being able to touch your nose to your knees, or execute a nice downward dog… or any of the many wonderful postures contained in an asana (physical pose) practice.

The way I think about the word ‘yoga’ is the same way I think about the word ‘love’ – they are verbs, doing words, and represent an integrated state of being.

I extend love into my world with what I do, say, think, feel, eat, cook, play, rest, etc.

I experience yoga as how I live my life – a mindful practice of this moment which includes what I do, say, think, feel, eat, cook, play, rest, etc. 

Susan Murphy, in her book ‘Upside-Down Zen’, says:

“Every breath out is a practice of yielding the self to the universe; every breath in is a reincarnation event, the self reborn, fresh. Zen is the practice of agreeing to live with a mind and self as alive and fluid as breathing itself: accepting the offer of each moment, yielding to the passing of each moment.”

I substitute the word ‘yoga’ for ‘Zen’… But really they are interchangeable.

Attending a weekly yoga class or two is always beneficial – practicing a series of physical poses, a specific style of breathing, a body-sensing mindfulness session – within a group setting creates a special energy of its own that can’t be experienced solo. I always come away from teaching a class feeling uplifted by that energy, which is probably why I’m still teaching after all these years!

To me, however, the real power of ‘yoga-ing’ comes when just moving through my day… and to this end I present to you… 3 simple tools to practice yoga on the go, every day, anywhere and anytime.

  1. Notice. Whatever is going on. If you’re tired, distracted, cranky, sad, joyful, simply notice. Step back from whatever is uppermost in your thoughts for a moment and feel your awareness watching it all.
  2. Breath. Take a complete breath, whatever and wherever you are, whenever you think of it. Follow the breath into the body, feel it turn around to the out breath, and follow that out. Then back to step 1 – just notice things like body sensation, thoughts, feelings. Feel your awareness watching it all.
  3. Connect. Wherever you are sitting or standing or walking, whenever you think of it, connect into this planet we are all on. Feel your footfall, feel your connection to the ground or chair or floor. Feel the sensations of weight – heaviness or lightness; lengthen up through your spine and breath. Then notice whatever is going on. Feel your awareness watching it all. 

These simple practices don’t involve much of putting your nose to your knee, or standing on one leg (although give it a go if you like!). Yoga is much more about inviting this present moment into consciousness, accepting this offer of life. As this becomes an everyday, and increasingly every moment practice, the world opens in a different way. Resilience, groundedness, a sense of natural wellbeing and contentment arises. You start to realise, as in the words of AA Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame that ‘you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’ We each contain tremendous resources that can be accessed through this regular practice of mindful awareness that is yoga-ing.

Start today, if you haven’t already. Keep kindness in your heart towards yourself. Little actions lead to big results. And for ongoing inspiration and support, come along to class to share in this practice together.

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