I will dive straight into the heart of the matter. The life many of us lead today can be loosely termed ‘imbalanced and rushed’. ‘Toxic’ is the real word to describe it. Harsh but true. Are we aware of this, at all? Or are we living in a fool’s paradise, indulging and soaking in the ephemeral delights the consumerist society throws at us, which is fast separating us from our own selves – our essence.
Are we aware of what we eat, aware of how we sit, how we spend the hours of our day, aware of the fact that our life is fast becoming a race, picking pace, rushing past, faster and faster? Till we have lost track of everything that makes meaning to us. Everything is a blur. All we know is that we have to go on. Have we taken the time for a reality check?
What does our life mean to us and are we really living? Or is our work, our maniacal thirst for more, our lack of awareness, our fear of stop-pause-take stock; to see the truth of our lives, riding us? Till we become mere mules being ridden by a mad nameless frenzy.
“All this is very well, but how do we actually change this… this rut,” I hear you say.
“Maybe we should simply think about how we can tap into well-being, on a day to day basis, given that our work-life balance is askew and all that… other things can follow,” you add intelligently.
Okay then, here are a few gems gleaned from the world of yoga to lighten the burden we carry and get more in sync with how we ought to be – a being glowing with health from inside out, content, peaceful and abundantly joyful.
Funny one, the first point, but the backbone of all breath-work. As you read this, stop. If you are in the process of breathing in, do so. Then breathe out slowly, effortlessly and watch how you feel. The whole body collapses and relaxes. Residues and toxins get thrown out. The weight of the world that we carry on our shoulders drops off. Long mindful exhales. Whenever we find ourselves about to get into or in a stressful situation, about to speak on stage, perform or even to just take a break from an intense task, let us try this.
2. Check the tum and shoulders, tight or soft
While exhaling let us get aware of the feeling inside our stomach. Is there a feeling of tightness? If so every exhale will dissolve it, calming us and improving the digestion, as a bonus. Similarly, run a check of the shoulders and neck region. Move them and place them in a position of ease. Exhale with an awareness of these areas too.
3. Stand tall/sit tall
The entire skeleton is structured in such a way that one joint supports the other. Yet we misalign them and cause our body trauma. When we stand, let us check that our legs are slightly apart and our weight is evenly placed on both legs and centered. Not leaning forward or backward. Let us remember to stand centered. Men and women alike. When we sit, let us get the mind to the sitting bones, let these push-down and allow the spine to pull us upwards. Bring to mind the structure of the spine and the head placed atop the neck at one end of it. Gently sway forwards and backward and feel the central-best position to sit in.
My favorite jewel, this one, for without this the others can’t come into play. Awareness. To allow ourselves to be aware of what we are doing all day – almost watching ourselves. A few times a day let’s start to check into the body. To feel what exactly is happening there. The exhale is our best friend with this one too.
5. Body vs Mind
We have started to live in the head more and more, almost as if we are body-less beings. If this continues we will evolve into a species of big-heads with tiny mangy bodies – extreme imagination. Really, let us leave the mind alone, every now and then and get into the body. Let us simply watch what is happening in one part of the body and then another and if we can, marry up this watching with long soothing exhale breaths.
If all this is sounding terribly foreign, let’s not be concerned. I shall re-surface every now and then and we will together delve into Yoga and a Balanced life and come out winners.