I was thirty when I started yoga. At times I wish I had discovered yoga earlier. However, I believe that yoga arrived when I needed it most. Living and working in London I had a job that felt like I was spinning plates. It was impossible to look away in the fear that they would all come crashing down.
I knew I was stressed out, however, yoga brought home how frazzled I really was! It didn’t solve my problems. My job was still hectic, those plates still needed to be spun, yet somehow I felt less overwhelmed. What I didn’t know back then is that yoga & mindfulness reduce cortisol levels which in turn lessen anxiety and stress.
“Those who practise yoga on a regular basis know that something positive happens; this is the undeniable experience of many.” – Peter Blackaby, Intelligent Yoga
Fast forward to 2019
Life is speeding up to a degree that many of us cannot keep up. Feeling burnt out emotionally, physically & mentally is more common as we get caught up on the treadmill of busyness. The pressure is huge & this can have detrimental effects on our health. Being frazzled has become normalised & it is this that connects so many of us! We can empathize with one another as we know what it feels like to never quite be on top of stuff.
“A billion hours ago, modern Homo sapiens emerged
A billion minutes ago, Christianity began
A billion seconds ago, the IBM personal computer was released
A billion Google searches ago…was this morning”
– Hal Varian, Google Chief economist –
Yoga does not stop the world from moving so fast, but it does bring our attention back to the here & now. It can help to reduce anxiety & the panic that can arise when life feels too much. Being more aware when our stress levels are increasing means we can take action & create change.
Yoga off the mat
At work, taking one minute out between meetings can have a huge benefit. Standing or sitting, adjust your posture so you feel more alert but not tense. Notice your feet in contact with the ground. Breathe in & breathe out with intention, repeat nine more times.
If you are a student stuck in the relentless cycle of study & exams, take a short break from your desk. Resist the temptation to pick up your smartphone. Walk around the room or come on to all fours & move like a cat making wave-like motions in your spine. Feel what you feel in your body & give your brain a rest.
Parents & carers, when you are looking after others, it is vital that you care for yourself. Can you aim to get to the weekly yoga session you used to love so much? If not sign up to an online yoga, choose a class that suits you right at that moment.
“Raising a teenager makes the terrible twos seem like a holiday in Hawaii.” – Ruby Wax, A Mindfulness Guide For the Frazzled –
Yoga & mindfulness provides a toolbox of techniques for you to take away at the end of class. With regular practice, you will learn to put these tools to good use. Noticing when stress levels are rising & taking action before they go through the roof! We cannot stop the world from spinning so fast, but we can choose to get off once in a while.