September 29, 2010

Does Too Much Time Online Take From Your Practice?

Plugging in vs. Unplugging—Does over-use of technology affect yoga practice?

Wake up in the morning—check your email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked In, news, blog, cell phone calls and text messages…the list goes on. Technology is at our fingertips, literally all of the time. This can be, and has been a positive change, but may also leave one feeling at odds with time and a mad dash to keep up. All too often yoga is placed on the back-burner for a later, less busy date.

Sometimes we even feel like there is more going on than there actually is simply because of this demand to stay connected. Employers and friends want instant responses. Emails are now perceived as a priority for quick response.  Our phones now smartly connect us to all we want to know and anyone we want to write, but also to endless ads and reminders flashing for our attention. People have become disconnected with what is going on in their bodies and minds.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m distracted and a bit over stimulated. I want to be prompt and efficient in responding and communicating with others, without compromising my practice. I am challenged at times to take a couple hours or less for myself and come to the mat. However, once there, I am proud for making it and in the throes of contentment all the while.

How do we unplug from the technology for a while in order to plug in?

All in all, the most important relationship we have in this life is the one with ourselves. The world will still be there after a solid yoga practice. So will the luxuries of modern, everyday technology. Turn the phone off for awhile, listen to the silence without TV or music, wait before responding instantly to an email, take some time to listen to what’s going on inside instead of commentary from outside. The day is full of small ways to unplug.

Unplugging shouldn’t be thought of as selfish because at times it’s necessary. Overall, time on the mat will make you a much better friend, employee, lover, sister, daughter or son. Take time and make an effort to practice because those are moments always well spent. In the end, an hour of being selfish can become a day of being selfless.

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Jessica Sarkis  |  Contribution: 1,000