We live in a crazy, busy world. Surrounded by Wi-Fi at every turn, bombarded by social media, and with to-do lists coming out of our ears, it's no wonder we have a ridiculously hard time switching off when we're done with the work day.
It's easy to slip into media junkie mode. We can’t quite bring ourselves to switch off in case we miss that next email, comment, like, or latest feed update on Facebook, Twitter, or your social media of choice!
A Modern Dilemma
Our technological society accelerates stress and anxiety levels. The more stimuli we experience, the more pressure we feel to conform. If you are anything like me, you can be reached on Facebook (personal and business pages), WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, a personal AND business website, personal email…it's endless!
Cell phones are often the first and last thing we reach for every day, and this affects our initial mood and final thoughts. This can be a risk to our mental health, blood pressure, personal well being, and your relationships with your loved ones.
Taking time each and every day to block out technological distractions and introduce the things into your world that make you calm, make you happy, and bring a smile to your face are absolutely essential to your very being!
The yoga mat is our own little paradise island where we can lose cell reception, ditch to-do lists, and return to the simple things such as our breath, find connection, and be in our bodies instead of floating all around them.
Yoga is the ultimate stress buster. It provides us with a safe place to travel on a daily basis.~Caroline Layzell
A breathing and meditation practice slows the pulse, eases our monkey minds, and clears out junk while creating space for serenity. Daily practice prepares us to stay calm in even the craziest of circumstances.
Yoga is absolutely an invitation to be exactly where and who you are! It provides the strength to handle absolutely anything that comes.
1. Move Your Body with Asana
The simple act of moving helps us to achieve a healthy and happy body and mind. Make a promise to yourself: When the yoga mat comes out, communication devices are turned off. When you break from these distractions, you invite zen into your life, so practice in a room with no phone or computer or at least turn them off. Dedicate this small portion of your day to yourself and no one else. Enjoy the escape from the daily routine.
Try these 6 poses to release tension, stress, and anxiety:
2. Find Your Breath
Prana translates to energy or life force, while ayama means restraint or control. Yogis do regular pranayama to clear the channels of their mind for meditation. The simplicity of taking a moment out of your hectic day to breathe thoughtfully can make all the difference in your ability to be still, be present, switch off from stress, and connect with your loved ones by letting the worries of your day simply float away.
3. Roll Out the Mat and Invite Yin Yoga
This is a beautifully delicious practice that helps us to calm our racing mind and heal our weary bodies. It's like a daily dose of self-love! Allow yourself this perfect opportunity to switch your phone off and just be present.
To practice the art of mindfulness, let go of everything that has come before your practice and everything that comes after. This provides a chance to be present and to be ok with this stillness. Perhaps the best result is the dreamy afterglow you find in that moment of peace!
4. Welcome Meditation
When we meditate, we welcome stillness, peace, and calmness. When this happens, we allow positivity to fill us up! By taking the time to get closer to our true selves and to better understand ourselves, we worry less about the unknown future and things beyond our control.
Exploring and learning this excellent technique relaxes our distracted minds and helps us create space for peace. Meditation can have incredible effects on your ultimate ability to clear your mind of the chaos of daily life.
5. Build Up Your Book Smarts
Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutra in the second century B.C. and created the eight-limbed path of yoga. He shared it as a roadmap with guidelines to help us have a meaningful and purposeful existence. Knowing and applying the ancient yoga knowledge in daily life can help you to become the best version of yourself and help you deal with everyday stress!
The Santosha principle (niyama) teaches the value of contentment. This is the ultimate rule to live in the moment. We spend so much time worrying about things that may or may not ever come to be.
Santosha asks us to stop planning ahead and, rather, to enjoy each moment and breath as it arrives. Set yourself a daily intention to be content and practice gratitude for everyday gifts.
Pratyahara (5th limb) is also a highly useful tool for the modern yogi. Practicing mind withdrawal pulls us away from the external stimuli so that we can return to our thoughts. The ability to draw yourself inward allows for awareness of your surroundings without being ruled by them.
How about you? How do YOU welcome zen into your daily life?