Limited Time for Practice… What to Do?
When faced with a limited practice based on time, what is your guidance?
Since time is the factor in this scenario, it’s all about how long you have on your mat before you need to finish up. So, determine when you need to be finished practice. Then, give yourself five to ten minutes for the last three seated finishing asanas and some rest. Once you know when you need to wrap up, you just start practicing like any other day until you have to stop.
Rachelle and I have never been advocates of cherry picking asanas when pressed for time. We never skip or omit postures. We prefer to stick to the sequence and do as much as possible before finishing up.
Depending on time, it may mean only doing a few surya namaskars. It may mean going through part of all of the standing asanas. It might mean making it to the floor asanas of primary and doing some of those as well. Again it all depends on time.
Some things to consider…
When pressed for time, I do backbending and the finishing asanas (i.e. sarvangasana through sirshasana) only if I make it to the marichasana section of primary and, obviously, if I have enough time. I’ve found that unless I get that far in primary, I don’t feel warm enough to want to do backbends and the complete finishing asanas. That’s not anything written in stone or passed down from Guruji. It’s just what I’ve noticed over the years when I’m pressed for time.
If you have an Intermediate Series practice and you’ve been split, you can do a shorter Intermediate practice when time is limited. In this case, I’d say if you can make it to eka pada sirshasana, that’s a lovely, shorter 2nd series practice. Of course, in this case, I’d make sure I had enough time for backbending and all the finishing asanas. One would probably need an hour in this case.
If you’re not sure what to do, you can ask your teacher.
The most important thing when pressed for time is do not to over-think what you’re going to do. Don’t psych yourself out of practicing. Just get on your mat and do something. Any amount is better than rationalizing that it’s not worth doing if you can’t do your entire practice on a particular day or days until your schedule calms down.