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How to Have it All: Balancing School and Yoga

 

What do I do when life’s responsibilities get in the way of my yoga? 

Well for starters, I acknowledge the fine line between ‘life priorities’ and ‘self priorities’. Life priorities would include paying rent, working and most importantly, college. Self priorities include allowing my creativity to thrive, maintaining social relationships and of course, yoga.

I guess you could say that my education and yoga are my top priorities. For the longest time I would allow my education to get in the way of yoga. I would make study cards instead of flowing through an hour of meditation, memorize anatomy terms instead of studying my own anatomy and center my inner focus on solely my education.

Halfway through last semester, I finally said ENOUGH! It was a week before midterms and I wanted to work on my chaturanga but I had so much homework to do. I decided it was time to create a strategy to balance the two. So I sat on my mat and brainstormed ways I could integrate my homework with yoga. Here is what I do to balance school and yoga:

I allow my homework to join me on the mat

My favorite, and most productive way of integrating yoga and homework is to set my laptop at the top of mat. I find that doing this is a better technique of getting homework done then sitting in the library for hours. Usually I’ll write a paragraph or do some editing while sitting on my mat – when I feel I need to give my brain a chance to rest or think about a topic further, I’ll flow through some poses.

Downward dog tackles writer’s block

In the past, writer’s block would give me the opportunity to scroll through my phone or watch a YouTube video – it gave me a reason to procrastinate. However, when I’m struck by writer’s block now, I take time to stretch it out in downward facing dog. As I bring my feet forward to come back to my laptop, I look at whatever I’m working on with the same determination I encounter in yoga class. This determination keeps me motivated and allows me to perform better on my work – thus curing my writer’s block.

Replicate your studio

Clean your yoga space, keep it fresh and crisp up the air. Your work/yoga space should embody your favorite yoga studio. Personally, I associate the feels of a yoga studio with determination, focus and even creativity. Allow your brain to stimulate the same senses it does in a studio when you bring your homework to your mat. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

Your crystals will be your best tutor

I get it, not everyone is into crystals and their metaphysical properties. But I’m a true believer that they can help enhance life by channeling energies. I love surrounding myself with crystals during yoga, they help me focus on what I need to work on in yoga and life. The same applies for when I’m doing my homework or studying for exams. My personal favorite stone to have next to my laptop or in my back pack is fluorite.

 

Alright yogis, enough about what I have to say. How do you balance yoga with school, work and other priorities? Do you carve out time for class? Do you set aside 20 minutes a day for your own private practice?

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Helene@PencilPaperPearl.com

    July 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    I love this! I use to do the same thing. I’d do my college math homework while sitting in child’s pose and I would study or read while I was in a forward fold. Combining yoga and studying helped me kill two birds with one stone!

  2. Avatar

    Lizzy

    July 25, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    This article is amazing fluorite is my pick for school as well!💖

  3. Avatar

    Cara-Lea Suttie

    September 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    This article hits home for me in a very real way right now. I am currently doing a post-graduate public relations program and my 200 hr yoga teacher training. Finding the balance between these two priorities is one of the real challenges I am navigating.

    One of my strategies is quite similar to your strategy of allowing your homework to join you on your mat. I am bringing my mat to my homework. In fact, this very response is a part of a blog project I am working on for my social media course. By bringing my passion for yoga into my school work, I believe I am expanding my skills in both venues.

    I have also found great value in the idea of alternating between both worlds – mixing my yoga practice with my homework. Whether using actual poses or simply moving into moments of breath work to settle my mind when I am finding my school work becoming overwhelming or frustrating.

    I think the most important work for me is to put my yoga practice into my schedule and view it with the exact same commitment with which I view attending classes at school. My yoga practice is a non-negotiable part of my day – it is not something that I can simply blow off because I have a lot of work to do. Whether I have scheduled 20 minutes or 2 hours to practice, that time is sacred.

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