Yoga of life – to rush or not to rush?
Is your life one big 'rush'?
Is your day spent rushing through all you need to do – in order to get to the next thing, and the next and the next? Does it feel like life is one long ‘to do’ list that never seems to end – always pushing you along trying to beat the clock, leaving you feeling anxious and stressed trying to get it all done?
It is easy to be fooled that you have to be moving your body to be in a rush, but you can feel just as rushed whilst sitting down. You can feel racy or rushed whilst trying to complete a task, or by the thoughts that there isn’t enough time to get everything done. In fact, many of us are most stressed when sitting at a desk trying to meet a deadline or getting through the ‘to do list’.
In all of these scenarios the mind is racing ahead and we can be unaware of how the body feels – this is stressful to our body as the nervous system is running in overdrive.
When we rush we have essentially disconnected from our natural rhythm.
Whilst rushing may be a strategy to get things done in a speedy manner, it’s important to stop and ask: what is this choice doing to our body physiologically, and psychologically, and how is it affecting the quality of our day and thus our health?
Let’s look at what many yoga practitioners and participants report happens to the body when they rush:
- Increased anxiousness and stress
- Tension in the shoulders
- Hardness and tightness throughout the body that feels uncomfortable
- The breath becomes erratic, short, and loses its steadiness
- We make choices with a lack of regard for the body
- Clarity of mind turns into confusion, a struggle to concentrate and impaired decision making
- We make mistakes that then take more time to fix (oh the irony!)
- The joy factor drops and we easily become cranky and critical
- And by the end of the day we are exhausted from the un-natural pace and momentum
Hmmm ... sounds familiar doesn’t it ... and not that appealing. Yet so many of us are choosing this!
Back in the Stone Age our predators were the wild animals looking for their next feed, but today our relationship with time is the modern day predator! This predator is creating stress, anxiety, and illness inside our bodies as a result of the nervous system being in fight or flight mode 24/7.
Rushing plays a big part in the cause of this stress. The accumulative stress from pushing and driving the body compromises our nervous system and inevitably leads to long-term health issues and anxiety, impacting on our mental health and ability to deal with our day.
“Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average 1 in 4 people will experience anxiety."[i]
It is fair to say that something is not right in the way that we are choosing to move and live that is negatively impacting our body in many ways. Therefore there must be another way that supports us to be able to get through the day without feeling smashed or exhausted.
Our natural foundational way of living is actually to be present with ourselves and in rhythm with the quality of stillness within. Living divorced from this, it is no wonder that our body starts to break down and why adrenal exhaustion[ii] and endocrine conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent.
"When you rush the body, it checks out – it is designed to move in moments. Understand this and you will heal anxiousness and exhaustion."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 303
Exhaustion – a modern day plague
If we are feeling exhausted at the end of the day, how we do what we do in our day may be the reason why.
So if rushing creates stress and comes at great expense to our body and long-term health, is it worth it?
Many are realising that it’s not, and that there is an innate rhythm of stillness within our body that inspires a quality of movement very different to rushing and brings a steady presence to our life. When we listen to this inner knowing that inspires moments of presence and gentleness throughout the day, it unfolds in the most beautiful way – the quality of our movements changes as we allow ourselves the opportunity to feel more spacious and open because we have chosen to be ‘in connection with ourselves’.
Yoga, or ‘union’ in daily life becomes a tangible reality. Each moment is an opportunity to be present with whatever we may be doing, listening to what the body is communicating and taking responsibility for our well-being. From this space we can make choices that honour how our body feels and support ourselves to restore a way of living that is true and vital.
We can choose to let go of the ‘human-doing’ and instead enjoy the ‘human-being’. We can get the work and daily tasks done in a way that respects and cares for the body and feels great.
This is a welcome move away from the rush, stress and anxiousness we may otherwise find ourselves in, and instead becomes a very empowering way to live – knowing that our well-being and how we feel is predominantly a result of our moment-to-moment daily movements and lifestyle choices – a joyful and steady way to be in the world.