Many of us are guilty of leading such busy lives, and trying to juggle so many responsibilities, that self-care takes a back site.

When faced with the demands of work and family, finances and hobbies, it can often feel impossible to carve out a few minutes of the day to practise a few self-care techniques and nurture one’s own sense of spiritual and mental well-being.

If you find it hard to set any time aside for yourself to reset and connect with your thoughts and feelings, you could be at risk of burnout.

A lack of self-care can also lead to growing feelings of stress and anxiety, lethargy and depression.

Adding a few yoga principles into your day on a regular basis can form the basis of an upgraded and effective self-care routine.

Try these suggestions next time you feel stressed and need to spend some time on your own wellbeing.

Meditation

While yoga isn’t strictly a form of meditation, it does help the mind to reach a calmer state.

Simply rolling out your mat and practising for 15 to 20 minutes (or starting your day this way) can help you to focus, regain your centre, release blocked emotions and make a space for you to be more mindful.

Self-healing

If you suffer from aches and pains, it can be all too easy to simply resign yourself to living with them.

Back ache from computer work for instance or sore joints and muscles can all impact on your sense of wellbeing.

Incorporating simple yoga poses into your day can help to stretch out your joints and muscles gently, helping to relieve tension and ease soreness in a low-impact and more natural way.

Be compassionate to yourself

Most of us will admit to being our own worst critic and, this can mean that you don’t fully celebrate or embrace your accomplishments or talents.

Rather than comparing yourself to others or feeling that you lack a certain skill, incorporate the spiritual principle of Ahimsa.

This is a cornerstone of the philosophy of yoga and literally means to not harm any living creature.

Extend this mantra to yourself and banish those comparisons and negative thoughts that hold you back or stop you achieving your full potential.

Relaxation

Having a smartphone in your hand or pocket can make it almost impossible to switch off.

The next time you find yourself reaching for your mobile to check your email after hours, invoke the yoga principle of Pratyahara which is the relaxation and awareness you may experience at the end of your yoga class.

Sit or lie quietly without distraction and focus on your breathing, your thoughts and your body.

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