Multitasking or being able to do multiple things at the same time used to be a skill. Today, it has almost become a requirement. Can you efficiently juggle various tasks at the same time?? Can you email, be insightful at a meeting, recall your next appointment, and make sure you child makes it to the dentist on time. Just writing about this is exhausting. Nevertheless, it is almost telltale of our lives today. As I said before, it is expected if you want to be successful and “make it” (which is a whole other dilemma and post!).
What happens to a lot of us during this process is that we become frazzled. We don’t sleep well, eat poorly, are short-tempered, and often resort to “unhealthier” habits such as alcohol, drugs, coffee or high-dose caffeinated drinks just to function. (I actually heard of a new variety of coffee that has 200% more caffeine!). I am going to skip the part of premature aging, ulcers, excess weight, etc. So what do you do? How do you keep your head on straight without eventually fall apart??
That’s when those two words come up. Grounding and centering. In other words, coming back to center to a place where you can actually remove yourself while at the same time also being functional. Of course, one of the ways is yoga. Yoga is really great at grounding and centering because it is one of those things that your really can’t do more than two things at the same time well. Those two things are breathing and the pose. If you are doing a pose and thinking what you forgot to do at work or who you need to call after class or whether your kids did their homework. You are probably holding your breathe and your body will let you know because as you bend over or try to stretch, you can’t because you are NOT breathing.
The second way toward grounding and centering is meditation and that takes a little more practice because you can sit crossed legged in front of a candle til the cows come home and go over and over all the stuff you have to do. Usually it won’t be too long before you get up because you feel you are wasting time. Again, as with yoga, the key is in the breathe. The more you focus on the process or exercise of breathing, the more you will let go of your thoughts until they (or what is known as the monkey mind) finally shuts up.
Both yoga and meditation as way toward grounding and centering take practice. The more you do it the more you start to realize you are getting better at being in the NOW. The reason people love yoga so much and say they come out of it so relaxed is because for 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours or however long your practice, you have focused primarily on the breathe and in yoga on the pose. Depending on the style of yoga you are practicing, you may be tired, but mentally you just took a look bath with epson salts, candles and soothing music. When you come back from either yoga and meditation who will feel grounded, centered and refreshed.
I am going to share a secret with you. Lots of people say, “Meditation, in the morning?? Are you kidding??” I have to get the kids ready for school, walk the dog, make my lunch. I barely have time to shower and brush my teeth.” However, if you can get up 10 minutes earlier and close your eyes and sit and breathe. I promise you, you will feel better, will accomplish more in your day, and be in a better mood. Again, it takes a couple of times before you can quiet that monkey mind, but once you do, you will NEVER want to start a day without meditating or just clearing the mind and breathing.
Try it and let me know how it goes. For questions, doubts, techniques, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. post your comment here, and tweet me at email@example.com. Also, don’t forget to visit me on Facebook at Yoganeshashiva. In the meantime, don’t forget to breathe.
Written with love. Namaste!