It can be difficult to set aside time to take care of yourself – let alone time to practice your vinyasa flow. But no matter how busy you really are, you likely still have plenty of time.
And who better to tell us about scheduling workouts than three-time Olympic gold medalist, and Lululemon ambassador, Kerri Walsh Jennings? We chatted with the athlete to get her top tips for fitting yoga into her busy schedule. Elevate your yoga practice on and off the mat with her simple hacks that will make you feel empowered.
"I start my day and end my day with breathing," Jennings says. "I have a 12-minute meditation that I do and I have a song that I love. I sit there, and I breathe and meditate. I come to center."
"I do that at the end of my day, as well," she adds. "More breathing at the end of the day, and less meditation. I don't want to fall asleep through it. Breath is so important!"
"On a volleyball competition day, I have a sun-rise yoga sequence that I do and it just wakes my body up, and gets me connected, and I love it," Jennings shares.
"The sequence usually takes 5 minutes, and it makes my soul happy," she notes. "It's like brushing your teeth, you just need to find a consistent time in your day to do these things, and it will become a habit. And that's when things become powerful, is when they are habits, not just a once-in-awhile thing."
"I am working on being present and grateful for the food that I am eating, as I think it will nourish me more," Jennings adds. "I will stop shoving food down my face because we're all so busy. Mindfulness while eating and appreciating every bite, thinking of where the food came from. We try to eat fresh and organic, I live in California, so we have great options, and taking the time to be grateful and thinking of the farmer. That's become a really wonderful thing.
"To me as a parent, I want to be a model for my kids, and to not take these things for granted and to be grateful and slow down," she tells us. "Because meal time is really, really important and sacred. I think we all take it for granted, and rush through that part of our days."
"I feel that the self-discovery part of yoga is willing to be a little uncomfortable" the star says." And that's why you discover things about yourself in yoga. Throughout your days and weeks, if you have the opportunity to do something that makes you slightly emotionally uncomfortable, or physically uncomfortable, I think you should do it!"
"I think that it provides an opportunity to grow, and that's why we are all here on this earth in my opinion is to grow, and to evolve as human-beings, and that's a kind of easy way to do it is to get out of you comfort zone whenever you get a chance to do so," she adds. "Obviously never putting yourself at risk, but just being open."
This story originally appeared on Rodale Wellness.