This holiday season, let go of one thing that isn’t a priority. It’s probably something you don’t really enjoy doing but do it anyway because you feel like you “should”. This might feel really hard to do, because you might disappoint someone. And, yes, that could happen. That’s OK. Do it anyway. Say “yes!” to yourself.
Racing through is so common in our culture. We’re all conditioned to believe faster is better. I certainly fall into this category. Speed is rewarded with promotions at work and praise from others. It’s no wonder we are all trying to do more in less time.
There is a cost, though. This speed driven culture drives us to exhaustion. It means we don’t have the patience to slowdown with our kids for a bedtime story. It means we are snippy with our loved ones as we try to get one more thing done on our to-do list and they want to connect. We are missing important moments and important conversations by rushing through our lives.
There is a better way. Slowdown. Turn off your phone, the TV, close down the computer and just BE for a few minutes. It is so simple, and so powerful. Our bodies and brains NEED space to just be. Notice how GREAT it feels to slowdown (this is your body saying “yes please!”).
I really love this ted talk about slowingdown. It gets to the heart of why it’s so important.
There are times (on the mat and off) when we come across obstacles. What is your usual reaction? Push harder? Back off and avoid it? A mix of both?
My usual reaction is to push harder. I first learned this about myself on my yoga mat. I’d push harder in spite of my body asking for something more moderate. I eventually paid for this with a very tired body and some minor injuries (thank goodness they were minor and I could continue my normal everyday life).
Off the mat, I experience obstacles daily with my son. He tests all the boundaries; goes for the things he shouldn’t touch, throws a temper tantrum when he can’t get his way, and refuses to nap. I have a choice with each and every instance; I can go hard OR I can go with the flow. I can take a deep breath, look into his eyes, and find a way around the obstacle.
Next time you’re faced with an obstacle either on your mat or off, imagine a flowing and steady river in your mind. Take a deep breath and choose your reaction. Notice how it feels in your body to go with the flow; luxuriate in that feeling!
Have you ever ended a yoga practice and felt like you pushed too hard? Do you struggle with backing off of a pose when you know you should?
I’ve struggled with this big time! When I give myself permission to slow down and take it a shade easier, I get so much more out of my practice than if I had just bulldozed through. This can feel down right impossible when your ego is screaming “just go a little harder!” This is where you take a deep breath and even though it’s hard, give your body a break.
Notice what changes for you when you practice listening to your body instead of your ego.
OH, rest. It is SO hard sometimes. We are constantly on the go with a million things running through our minds. I really struggle with rest. I always want to get all-the-things done, today. HA!
When I first started practicing yoga, savasana was so challenging for me. How can I just lay here, and for how many minutes? My mind would immediately start making lists of all the things I had to do and what I was going to make for dinner (and it still does this, although to a lesser extent).
This article really sums up the things you can do to allow your mind and body to surrender in savasana. It is SO important to rest! We all know that, but many of us have a hard time doing it.