“Go, Go, Go!”
“Go, Go, Go!” seems to be the mantra for modern life. We are constantly being to told to do more, be more, try more. We try desperately to juggle busy careers with home life, socialising and trying to squeeze in a work out, take a yoga class or get out for a run (now with the added stress of world events trying to make this all work online and from home). If we’re not continually on the go, then we can be left feeling immense guilt, comparing ourselves to others and always somehow coming up short.
While I don’t wish to pile on any more pressure, I believe there is one area where we can all do better – and that’s rest.
I’m aware it’s often easier said than done. So many of us just spend our lives running from one obligation to another, so I’m not about to suggest that you throw your schedule away and go sleep for days on end (though that does sound very appealing sometimes), more that we try to be where we are when we’re there.
Every decision, every thought we have throughout the day depletes our energy. We have a predominantly sedentary lifestyle physically, and yet we are mentally exhausted. By practicing Presence, we give our mind a well-earned rest.
We are able to shift out of our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and move into our parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest), where so few of us spend enough time. This is something I’m still working on and I imagine that it will be a lifelong practice.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we spend every moment only thinking about what we are directly experiencing, just that we practice taking the moments that arise throughout the day to be present in our bodies.
Whether it’s tuning into our breath while we wait in the queue at the supermarket, rather than getting stressed about how slow its moving or being really focussed on our physical body while we’re running or at the gym, checking in throughout the day to see if our jaw is clenched or our shoulders are up round our ears and consciously releasing them, or if we make it to a yoga class – really trying to be in the room with ourselves while we’re there.
All of these seemingly small moments give our minds a well-earned rest, allowing us to face the day a little calmer and make less stressed decisions.
Yoga is a fantastic practice that can make presence feel more accessible in our everyday lives.
Tuning in to our bodies, our minds and our breath on the mat can lead us to a better understanding of when we are stressed or at rest.
Through yoga we can begin to build a kit that unfortunately won’t prevent us from experiencing stress, but can equip us with the tools to recognise our individual responses and work through them.
Simply taking one hour completely for yourself and attending a class where you are given permission to take the space and rest you need will have a positive impact on the rest of your week.
If you’d like to experience presence on your mat, I would love to see you in class.
Click here to book.