Reintroducing Yoga Into My Life

By | health, mindfulness, self-improvement | No Comments

I believe in disconnecting. I feel the world we currently live in is too connected and it can bog us down both mentally and physically. I like to take breaks from devices and screens, but it’s hard. A question jumps in my head and I have a super computer in my pocket that I can ask for the answer and get it immediately. In that same vein, I miss the days from high school and early college of sitting at a coffee shop or bar and having lively discussions over the answer to a stupid question and having no way to get the answer at hand. Now those lively discussions are ended before they even start. Who played the other robber in Home Alone, you know, not Joe Pesci? Just Google it.

In February of 2016 I started doing yoga. I got an app on the app store looking for part yoga part meditation and trying it out to unplug. I fell in love with it. I started the beginner sessions doing 30 minutes at a time and after 3 days in a row and showing up to work in a great mood (and a little sore), it dawned on me that it was the yoga. I ramped up to the intermediate hour long courses and at my peak in march completed 21 out of 31 days.  I was fitting it in wherever I could and jumping out of bed in the morning in excited to go through the program.

After March I needed to start training for a 5k obstacle course I had signed up for and so I started splitting time between yoga and running. Slowly I felt more invested in running and yoga was becoming less and less a priority.  I was focused on reaching my 5k time goals I had set for myself and a 1 mile goal time.

Throughout the year it became less about one of the things that had drawn me to it which was disconnecting for a while, letting my mind work through problems while my body struggled to stay in certain positions. It became a chore.

Then I hurt my knee running and I started incorporating kettlebell workouts into my routine (which I also now love), but I was still avoiding doing my yoga. I was doing 30 minute sessions from time to time but wasn’t getting that boost that I had once been drawn to.

Last week, when my stress levels were at a peak while juggling many projects, Christmas prep and prioritizing time with the kids I stopped and took an hour to go through a yoga session. I didn’t have the time, but I knew I needed it. It felt great and the results weren’t immediate, but the world slowed down a little and I felt more centered. By the end of the day I felt great and the next day I was good and sore, which was surprising after the kettlebell workouts I had been doing.

I realized that these sessions are good for body and mind for me and it’s important to have the time away from the connectedness that is so ingrained in us today. I would like to get into meditation as well, but for now this is a good start.

Moving into 2017 I’ve made it a goal to not go more than 3 days between yoga sessions. And no more than 2 days between a workout of any kind.

It’s important to find your way to disconnect even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, being mindful of yourself and your surroundings. Get away from the screens and gadgets and take care of yourself and your mind.

The app I use is called Yoga Studio and is available for iOS. It has 65 pre-made yoga and meditation classes. It tracks when you do it which helped me with motivation for wanting to get the day on the calendar lit up when I completed a session.

That other robber = Daniel Stern, and fun fact number 2, he also starred in C.H.U.D. with the Dad in Home Alone, John Heard.

The Importance of Sleep

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This will be my shortest post yet.

Early in my career I wore it as a badge of honor if I pulled an all nighter.  Later in my career it annoyed me. I believe in a do what you need to do to get the job done mentality, but that one all-nighter could usually be avoided through better planning and transparancy.  Not only that but one all-nighter would wreck my team for days. That’s right, days, with an s. Sleep is so important to your health, your mental acuity and your ability to make key decisions that it needs to be a priority in your life.

I’m making this short so you can go take a nap instead of reading.

And when you’re done check out Arianna Huffington’s book on the subject- The Sleep Revolution

Or perhaps Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson.

Want me to write more on the topic? Email me or post in the comments below.