The longer I practice and teach yoga, the more I want to share it. Throughout the day I encounter several hard-working people whose heads, hips, and hearts could use a huge pick-me-up: freedom in Pigeon pose for the Desk Warrior confined to a cubicle 8 hours a day; Sun Salutations for the Grad Student who can barely get out of bed after a long night of thesis-cramming on ramen and day-old coffee.
I’m no doctor, and am not suggesting yoga is a cure-all, but a little quality time on the mat might just be the perfect prescription for the following folks who are short on energy, inner peace, balance and a deeper connection to the world around them:
1. The Exhausted Exec
In a past gig working at a downtown business/athletic/social/exchange biz cards at every opportunity club, I watched, over a five year period, more than a few young, lean, corporate climbers shift from vibrant, smiling, “let’s close this deal!” dynamos to defeated, overweight, stressed-out, too-busy-to-exercise middle-agers long before their time.
Spend extra time on: Sun Salutations, of course.
2. The Heavy-footed Neighbor Upstairs
Assuming there are no plans to join cousin Big Foot in the woods, it’s time to lighten up. So I can sleep. Not all of us are staying up into the wee hours with the grad student.
Spend extra time on: jump backs to Chaturanga, jump forwards to Uttanasana, soft landing. Practice whenever I am not home. Repeat. Until you no longer make a peep.
3. The Silent Lamb
Eradicate Hannibal once and for all and speak up. Life is too short to not live boldly.
Spend extra time on: Warrior II. Embrace your inner badass.
4. The Two Phones and iPad-toting, Multitasking Fast Talker
Time to drop all distractions and focus. Concentrate. Breathe.
Spend extra time on: Eagle pose. And no, you cannot do both sides at the same time.
5. The Jerk In Line
Stop barking at the barista and swap your triple-shot Venti latte for a water bottle and yoga mat instead.
Spend extra time on: Five years in a seated position repeating this mantra: “Patience. Kindness. Gratitude.”
6. The Aching Athlete
For years I had a love affair with asphalt: 18-mile training runs and 80-mile bike rides prepping for one race or another. But like many affairs, my asphalt lover eventually cheated on my aging joints and left me seeking a more compassionate way to stay fit. Yoga has since been my faithful companion and rejuvenated my body and mind. Athletes, roll out your mat and discover the perfect complement to your game.
Spend extra time on: hip openers galore: gomulkasana; half-pigeon; crescent lunge; anything else your loving teacher suggests to soften your tight, aching muscles.
7. The Is It A Man Or A Bird?
Some folks spend more time at 30,000 feet than on the ground. Alas, "man in seat 15D" rarely feels free as a bird in flight.
Spend extra time on: In between beverage cart action, step into the aisle and try a few standing postures. Tree. Knee to chest. Heck, why not bust out a Bird of Paradise and create your own version of turbulence?
8. The Lead Foot
Time to step off the gas and onto the mat. If you’re close enough to read my peace bumper sticker, I’m talkin’ to you.
Spend extra time on: Straddle-fold. Look between your legs and appreciate the beauty of allowing just a wee bit of space between you and the dude behind you. Capiche?
In all seriousness though, I really believe we can all greatly benefit from practicing yoga—even if it's just for a couple minutes a day! Do you have your own 'list' of people you encounter everyday that you would highly recommend yoga to? Let us know below!