Sunday, September 12, 2010

Slow Down


As we get older, it seems that we have MORE to do with LESS time. (How did that happen?) We constantly try to cram too many things to do in our already business schedules. Often, we run out of time, and the daily list is rarely completed; more items just seem to be added to the never-ending list.

“If only there were more hours in the day,” we say to ourselves. “If only I could move faster to get all of these things done.”

Why not do the opposite? Appreciate the number of hours you have in the day and actually move slower to complete your to-do list. You might find that by taking the time to slow down, your mind is clearer, more rational, and can make logical decisions that lead to successful completions rather than running around constantly worrying rather than doing.

In today’s yoga practice, try moving through a simple Sun Salutation slower than you usually move. The idea is to move with a slower pace of breath. Start by standing in Mountain Pose and become aware of the sensation of breath. Once you have made this breath connection, begin an engaging series of Ujjayi Breaths to bring yourself to greater awareness of each inhale and exhale.

Continue to stand still and silent in Mountain Pose engaged in the breath and begin to pay attention to the pace of each inhale and the pace of each exhale. Breathe in a fashion where the pace of the exhale matches the pace of the inhale. Now, count the beats associated with the pace of the inhale and the pace of the exhale. For example, when you draw in one breath, you might find that it takes 3 beats. (Try counting slowly, like this….”one –Mississippi, two-Mississippi, etc.)

Once you have taken note of the pace of each breath, try slowing down the pace of the inhale and exhale so the rate is now 4 beats rather than 3. Try doing this two more times until the pace of your breathing effort has slowed down significantly. Now it is time to move. Still using this new pace of breath, begin your Sun Salutation. Each movement now coincides with the pace and rhythm of the Ujjayi Breath. You’ll find that you’ll move through your practice much slower.

The intention is to practice moving slower through the course your day. Pace yourself. Take your time. You may find that you are more calm and collected and able to get more done in your busy day.

Feel free to provide feedback on your yoga practice. Leave a comment to inspire others to also slow down.

Namaste.

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