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April 4, 2012

Three Rules for Being Mindful Online.

By: Federico Morando

Taking it “Off the Mat and Onto the Computer.”

Encouraging yoga practitioners to take the awareness and insights gained in yoga class—such as having a calmer mind, or feeling the relaxing effects of the breath—off the mat, and applying them in the “real world”, Off the Mat and Into the World has become a household name. For many of us, the “real world” now consists of a flat screen in which we interact all day.

We form relationships and connections, communicate, engage and learn, and also have the power to spread positive or negative vibes online. So, keeping in mind that we should be applying the yogic principals in all aspects of our lives, taking it off the mat and onto the computer has become a near vital form of practice as well. Here are three general rules for maintaining our mindful integrity online.

1. You Are What You Post.

What we think we become, right? Social Media is a perfect mirror, and in it’s reflection we can clearly see how we are showing up in the world every day.

I will never forget the day Facebook started showing what you posted as your status the year before on that particular day (and in some cases, for social media junkies like me, the year before that as well). While both posts were relatively light and positive, seeing them made me think about the message I was sending, and made me consider the kind of message I wanted to share.

Energy follows thought and it also follows your Facebook status. What we choose to share has a ripple effect, and you never know the depth of your reach.

2. No Comment Rage.

When was the last time you lost your temper behind the safe, enclosed glass window of your SUV, yelling profanities at someone you will never have to see again? Social media can provide an even denser form of  disguise for leaving negative comments and spouting hateful remarks. Behind screen names and profiles there are real people with real feelings and we must remember this at all times.

This new way of communicating is an opportunity to engage in mindful discussion, learning to appreciate differences of thought and opinion. Being a pretty realistic person, I realize this can be hard enough in real life. The internet is far from a utopian society, but using the time you spend online, be it for personal matters or business, as an opportunity to cultivate peace, compassion, and awareness, is as important for yourself as it is for the virtual community you are creating.

3. Be The Change.

With every thought, with every interaction, with every post, comment or tweet, we have the potential to share something positive with those around us. The internet is a powerful tool that is revolutionizing how the world connects, and that power is in our hands. Be the change, be the change in the world that you want to see, both online and off.

What is the message you want to share? Really think about that, and be sure to infuse everything you do with that message. People learn by doing, and this is no different. If you want something to change, you have the power to change it, be that change.

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Editor: Jennifer Cusano

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