Children aren’t the only ones who find it hard to sit still. We all have our ways of creating distractions to avoid having to be quiet and experience what’s happening in the present. Sometimes what we’re trying to cope with is a painful life difficulties that we have no control over – like divorce, illness, job loss, or the death of someone we love. We also find it hard to sit still with boredom because we’re human, and it’s part of our conditioning. There are countless ways to avoid whatever it is that’s causing us pain and discomfort, such as getting high, gambling, sex and shopping – just to name a few. A socially acceptable way of distracting ourselves is to keep busy by packing our schedules to their maximum capacity in spite of the fact that we end up feeling like hamsters on a wheel. The price we pay for all of this is feeling perpetually stressed out.
Yoga is the prescription for this very human condition of ours. It’s where we can learn to connect with ourselves in the present moment and not have to DO anything…..we can enter a state of being. Certainly we’re doing something as we practice Yoga, but it’s a different kind of doing. Normally it’s our minds that are constantly doing and thinking, but in Yoga when we focus our minds on the breath and the sensations in our bodies, the mind quiets and stops thinking about the past or future. Then we can fully experience ourselves in the postures in that present moment without our over-active minds getting in the way. I think of it as giving my brain a vacation. The pay back is that our nervous system gets a chance to relax and our stress levels go down. It’s nice to know that we can take a vacation and de-stress anytime we feel the need.