If there is one thing we can all agree on it’s that life is busy! We live in extraordinary times and we are more maxed out than we have ever been before. It can feel like we are being pulled in 20 different directions and finding time for ourselves, and our health can be challenging.
We have all heard for years that finding time to exercise for a minimum of 20 mins a day at least 3 days a week, is a must to stay healthy. But, what if you feel spread too thin for 20 min work-outs?
My suggestion – start with 5 minutes at a time. 5 minutes is better than no minutes, and here’s why:
5 minutes at a time can help to improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
One of the best things about yoga is that you don’t need anything, in particular, to practice it, no fancy equipment, no expensive gym membership. Spending even 5 minutes practicing poses you love, or a short sequence you know brings space to your tight and sticky places, over the long run will help you improve your overall strength, flexibility, and balance.
Short bursts of activity help to improve overall fitness.
Studies show that fitting short bursts of high-intensity activity into our day can help decrease our Body Mass Index (BMI) and for some also helps a great deal with appetite control. It’s all about balance, and we are all doing our best. Sometimes 5 minutes of activity will lead to more, and sometimes it will be just what it is. Just what the doctor ordered.
Just 5 minutes of yoga can provide a much-needed energy boost.
The practice of yoga asana brings together our body and our breath. It inspires a movement of our circulatory system, our respiratory system, our muscles, our connect tissue, and of course our awareness. This a sure-fire recipe to give us a boost when we feel like the tank is running low. Allow energy to circulate through your whole body by practicing pose that open your chest and back, extend your spine, and breathe out to the edges of your rib cage. This can be even better than a shot of espresso!
5 minutes of deep, mindful breath can significantly reduce our stress.
Many of us spend our days breathing from a very limited portion of our lung capacity. Luckily, we don’t have to think about breathing, our body breathes all on its own. Breath, however, is the only vital function of our body that can be voluntary as well. When we breathe in a whole-body kind of way (filling into our belly, out to the edges of our rib cage, and even into our backs) we stimulate our diaphragm which sends a signal up our spinal cord to our brain that begins to ignite the function of our parasympathetic nervous system. In even 5 short minutes, breathing in a deep and mindful way can help to reprogram the brain and reduce the function of our sympathetic nervous system, our all too familiar stress response.
In the coming months I will be adding a few super short yoga sequences to our online studio, because we all have time for a 5-minute practice, and it would be my honor to lead you.