Sometimes we feel as if we are racing through life than actually living it.
I was reminded of this last week when I felt I had a lot of things piling up, both domestically and work- related, all demanding my attention and needing to be completed so I could move on to the next one. I know women are reputed to be good at multi tasking but I, for one, don’t like it!
I felt as if I had an endless and overwhelming To-do list which I had to get through as quickly as possible and it occurred to me that I wasn’t really enjoying any of the tasks or life in general.
I came across another example of this need to slow down when someone came along to see me for individual yoga to improve the health of her back. She has suffered from chronic, lower back problems for over 40 years, but told me that she was a fast learner with a busy life and hoped that four sessions of yoga would suffice to improve her back and manage her condition. In other words, she wanted a ‘quick fix’.
It seems that we all feel time driven -and push ourselves to get a fast result rather than taking time to ‘enjoy the joureny’ and appreciate the moment. Illnesses are often the body’s way of saying Slow down! and, in extreme cases, people who are admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack are found to be suffering from stress, due in no small part to leading life at a frantic pace.
Some students even equate a good yoga class with a fast, energetic one. However moving too quickly and without awareness can lead to injuries. Quality in movement, good alignment and smooth, even breathing are much more important in yoga than speed and a strong work out, without attention to your body and breath.
Interestingly in yogic philosphy there is a belief that at birth we are all assigned a set number of breaths during our life time. Therefore the thought could be that, if we can slow down our breathing, we can extend our lives.
So let’s all try to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment, remembering that speed can make us miss out on the finer details of life- as well as having much more serious consequences.