Simple Ways to Find Time to Practice

In our daily lives, we all have responsibilities outside of our practice (be it yoga or the martial arts). There are times the aspects of our lives, such as work, family, school, and other commitments, must take time and focus over training.

Finding the time to balance our practice, work, and family can be difficult. How can we practice our material without sacrificing the other aspects of our lives? Here are some of the simple training additions I've learned to incorporate into my normal routines when I don't have enough time to train for hours on end.

1) Stretching

At work when I am on my 5 minute breaks, I go to the back parking lot of the building and do a stretch for 3 to 5 breaths before getting back to work. I do different stretches each break I get.

2) Grip

On my way back from work or at home, I normally carry a plastic water bottle with me. Before leaving, I make sure to fill the water bottle up. On the journey, I start tossing it in the air so that I can pracctice grabbing it. This is really powerful at strengthening the grip. When you can do this at home in horse stance (a partial squat), it is especially effective. Grip balls are enother effective too for not only increasing grip strength, but also for relieving stress.

3) Stances

I hold horse stance when I'm on my computer/laptop and also when I watch tv, eat at the table, and wash my hands.

4) Punching

Whenever I play video games online and I lose a match, I exit to the main menu and do 100 punches before getting back on. If I lose again, I increase the numbers each time.

5) Kicking

At home, we have trash cans with lids. I strengthen my legs by lifting the lid up with my toes. Similarly, I will flush my toilet with my foot and turn the light switches on and off (though, make sure you do the latter without shoes as it could cause damage if you kick too hard and break the switches). These practices can help with accuracy of kicks and also with balance.

These are a few simple tips that I do on a regular basis. You can use these in your daily routine to help keep your skills sharp when finding time to train becomes complicated. These tips may not get you in shape, but they are tools to keep your skills from declining outside of training time.

Grandmaster Shyun says, "if you want to be good at anything, you must practice, practice, practice!"

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