Imagine. It’s Monday morning and you’ve spent the weekend going to yoga class and maybe even working in a few brief meditation sessions. You’re ready for the work week. Bring it on, Monday. Then you open your email – and you know not to do this first thing in the morning, but you do it anyway. Not to much surprise, there’s a mildly passive aggressive note from a co-worker you can’t seem to like no matter how zen you feel. Irritability and annoyance overcome you. Your breath shortens and you think, “Mondays suck. Is it Friday yet?”

Most of us have been there, yet we all know yoga is supposed to bring calm and increase awareness. So what’s the problem?

We make a lot of effort to fit yoga into our busy schedules. The more we do, the better we think we’ll become. But yoga goes beyond the time we’ve carved out for it on the mat. It’s not about “doing” as much as it is about “feeling.” Yoga can also be practiced when you tell yourself not to look at emails first thing in the morning or when you try to feel less anger and more compassion towards someone who annoys you. It’s stepping back and understanding your reactions to uncomfortable situations and then adjusting those reactions. This by no means happens overnight. It’s a lifetime practice that will always have ups and downs, but the more we understand that’s it’s not always physical, the more yoga we can squeeze in.