Return of the Yoga Loft Blog

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[Image By Sage RossWomen meditating, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link]

All,

After an unfortunate absence for not particularly good reasons, the Yoga Loft Blog is back. With 2018 is upon us, it will now be updated more regularly.

The first post of this year comes to us from Yoga Loft regular Sandy Abrams. Please enjoy her thoughts on breath and meditation, wherever you may read them.

–Ryan McDonald

Taking Yoga Off the Mat for Some Digital Detox

If that Zen feeling from yoga class seems to rinse away in the shower, don’t worry: you can access it off the mat as well. While you may not want to do down dog at the office, you can easily use breath to tap back into that calming energy throughout the day. Simply close your eyes, tune out the external noise, and go back to that mind-body connection that’s so strong in yoga class. Take just sixty seconds for a few deep breaths and watch what happens. You’ve brought the yoga to you.

Our digital addiction seems to be overriding our common sense these days, and it frequently leaves us feeling anxious and empty. But since we can’t go back to the yoga mat with each negative feeling that occurs, we need to manage our energy/mod/mindset with the simple power of breath.

Recently, two Apple investor groups wrote an open letter to the company about the consequences of children’s addiction to smartphones. The amount of time that kids are spending on phones is staggering, but the consequences of that behavior is even scarier: depression, anxiety and suicide to name a few.

It’s not just kids who are addicted (ahem, raising my own hand) but it’s important to take a stand with children today since they’re born into a digital life that requires diligent self awareness. I’ve talked about my love/hate relationship with tech for many years. It takes a heavy dose of self awareness to manage it every single day.

I have a recurring nightmare that I can’t find my phone. I feel vulnerable without it even though for most of my life smartphones never existed. The addiction is real…and it’s dangerous. I have to make a concerted effort to unplug these days for my own sense of well being.

For example, like many, I found myself addicted to the enjoyment of the mind numbing scroll of Instagram. Thankfully, I began to realize how much time I could have spent doing something else that would have been productive. I’m not knocking Insta because I’ve actually learned a lot from following certain people. But it sometimes turns into a rabbit hole of exploration. I’m trying to do my own intervention and here’s what’s helping:

Only allow the mind numbing scrolling when you’re somewhere that you can’t do anything productive; the dentist office, the grocery line or the day before a colonoscopy. You know what I mean.

Make another project your priority when your (addictive tech) mind tells you to grab your smartphone. You’ll see how much you got done on your passion project and realize exactly how much time you were spending aimlessly.

Swap the online to perusing and instead schedule in person coffees, lunches or walk dates with colleagues, friends and family. We’ve come to feel that we’re in touch with people just because we saw their post. But, come on.

It’s not easy, but once I began to make the change and unplug a bit it felt liberating, productive and very satisfying to connect more IRL. It doesn’t take that long to rewire your brain to reach for something healthier than the smartphone. Whenever you find yourself reaching for it out of pure habit/addiction, take a few deep breaths and talk yourself off the ledge.

Plug into your new happy place instead. You may find that you’ve found the time to create something really wonderful and new in your life. There’s a lot of things we can do offline, and they are things that we’ll likely remember down the road.

I can’t even tell you what I saw in my last Insta scroll, but I’ll never forget the enjoyable walk I took with my son while I was unplugged.

Start with three deep breaths…and decide what you’d like to do with the free time that you’ll have as you enjoy some digital detox. See what kind of real magic you can create.

Namaste.

 

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