When I look back through my gratitude journal, the one thing I notice above everything is that the days when I’ve taken time to do yoga, or have even ten minutes spent meditating, make a massive positive difference. I always find myself noting that I’m more calm, content, grateful and able to face the day when I’ve taken time for yoga. I read a quote once that said that the people who say that they don’t have ten minutes to themselves per day to stretch out, or have some quiet meditative time, are the people who need to do it for thirty minutes instead. But the reality is that many of us do struggle to find a spot during the day when they can put everything on hold to take that time to just be quiet, or practice a bit of self-care.
Most days, I promise myself that I’ll do yoga before bed, or first thing when I get up, but I find myself flopping into bed exhausted, or hitting the snooze button instead. I can imagine it’s even harder for people who have children (particularly those with very little children) as so much of your day can be spent running around after them and you find yourself right at the bottom of the priority list. The one point however when I (and many other bath-lovers) do have that pocket of time to myself is bathtime. I actually find it incredibly cathartic to have that moment every day (usually around 9pm), when I light some incense, put on a podcast via my phone speaker, close the bathroom door and relax into a tub full of bubbles. There’s something about being locked away in the bathroom that makes me feel shut off from the world and able to just let my cares drift away.
With this in mind – Matalan Direct have developed an amazing bathtime yoga routine, with stretches you can do before you get in the bath, and even a few poses you can do to stretch out whilst you’re in the tub.
I actually do find that I have most success with finding time for yoga before getting in the bath (mainly because the time it takes to run a bath is otherwise ‘dead time’, and if I stray too far from the bathroom then I totally forget and end up running a cold bath!) I usually have my mat set up in my bedroom, but these are poses that can be done even in a relatively small bathroom, so you could even wait until you’re locked away and can’t be found before start your stretches! You don’t need expensive yoga leggings to perform the routines either (which is one of the things I love about yoga – despite what some of the instagram accounts might purport – yoga is something anyone can do, regardless of whether you have the ‘gear’ or not!) Prior to my bath I usually throw on a loose t-shirt, jogging bottoms and a sports bra (who am I kidding – that’s what I change into as soon as I get home from work) and then I’m all set for a few stretches.
One thing I would hugely advise before trying these moves is to ensure the floor isn’t wet and slippery when doing the pre-bath poses – you don’t necessarily need a mat but you do need a surface that you can move around on without slipping. For the in-bath poses, I would also recommend trying the poses on the floor before attempting to do them in the bath. Just make sure you’re comfortable and happy doing them – please try them a few times before you try them somewhere wet and slippery! Never do anything that feels painful or uncomfortable or push yourself into something that doesn’t feel right – as my favourite yogi Adriene Mishler says – “Find what feels good”. If you don’t want to do the full routine then you could also use the guides to find a few poses that work for you and just do a cycle of those on a daily (or even weekly) basis – yoga isn’t about strict routines or following absolutely every movement, it’s about finding what works for you and just being in the flow of it.
I absolutely love the idea of the Bath Yoga and will definitely be fitting these poses in to my routine. Make sure you check out both their relaxing weekend bath yoga, and their yoga for stress relief routines.
Are you a yoga fan? How do you manage to fit yoga and self-care into your routine?