The Dangers of Routine
Lately, I’ve learned that more and more people are on some form of anti-depressants. I’m alarmed about that, and given my enthusiasm at my age, I’m saddened. I have family members that are mentally ill. I understand the power of a drug that sets the right course in our ever-complex brains.
But I think the kind of depression most common out here in this neighborhood goes like this: get up very early, get kids and yourself ready for work and school, do your job at a desk with extreme deadline pressures, pick up kids and take them to after school activities, make dinner, help with overwhelming loads of kid’s homework, walk the dog, and then lie down for a few hours from complete exhaustion. Filtered in there is holidays to prep for; kid’s appointments, applications, events; the emotional rollercoaster as they grow; vacations; responsibility for parents; work on weekends; traffic management; and the time needed to keep a marriage going. This is less an exaggeration than probably an understatement of our routine schedules! I’m not saying we can’t be happy doing it but I am saying that over time something in you can go dormant – your spirit. You’re not thriving, you’re merely surviving.
The Growth of Il Forniao
You’ve got to MOVE!
But in our world today a lot of routine movement has gone away. Not long ago, we used to labor in the fields, now we labor at our desks. We used to carry groceries up the stairs or walk outside to get our mail. But today, with a press of a finger, our groceries are delivered and our mail is in our inbox. Even shopping is different: Amazon ships everything to our door, or we call Uber to take us directly where we want to go. No more walking through parking lots. Technological advancement is great, but we need to be careful what price we pay for it. I believe we’ve gone a little too far and it’s showing up in depression and loneliness.
I’m not unique- I just move
I certainly don’t mean to be so doom-and-gloom in this post. After all, as I sit here on my birthday it is a great time to be alive! But as I review my life and how alive I feel, I know it’s not because I’m any more special than you are. So, what gives?!
If you know me, then you know my life has been busy with yoga! Almost 20 years of practice! And while my livelihood, vacations, and social life revolve around my yoga, you don’t need that level of consumption to receive the same benefits as me. All you need to do is decide! Decide to put yoga in your life, everyday or at least 5 times a week. Why?
Restoring & Preserving Balance
The latest studies are showing that depression is associated with abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain just behind the forehead. Dysfunction in this area of the brain can wreak havoc with negative emotions and result in poor behavior choices and spiral into exaggerated anxieties creating overwhelming levels of stress. I’m not saying yoga, or Bikram Yoga, is the cure. But, we push against and stimulate that area of the brain 16 times in one class!
Our bodies are an immeasurable storehouse of wisdom, and given the right gesture, we can reignite lost or atrophied areas and bring back homeostasis. We can harness the natural resources inherent in a healthy body and healthy mind – therefore, never having to fall into a deprivation or lack that causes a disruption in the body/mind performance somewhere. The research also tells us that when we interact with other people– family, friends or simple strangers–we also relieve depression. Just coming to the yoga studio and saying hi to your peers mitigates loneliness and depression. Makes sense, as we know intuitively that as humans we are meant to interact and socialize. Join our yoga community, get involved, and that alone will lift your spirits!
Escaping Mediocrity: How to THRIVE
This might be enough to get you going or keep you committed to your yoga practice. Still, yoga also protects you from the one “sin” we shouldn’t settle for – mediocrity. That is just not how we are made or what we are made for! Doom and gloom can strike at any time. Before you know it, you are rolling in depression, suffering to understand the point of your life. Not good!
We are not our bodies, and we are not our minds. So do your yoga and then both your mind and body are correctly calibrated and appropriately controlled. Yes, we have responsibilities to adhere to in our own worlds that seem monotonous and, over time, mind-numbing. But when you’ve gotten superior to the power it once had over you, your perspective can shift. It’s not what you’re doing, but your attitude and awareness while doing it that matters. That shift happens by taking control back IN the yoga room. And, in my experience, it should not be a choice!
Make your health and your yoga a responsibility just like any other you are accountable for. As a result, your inspiration will increase and you will fill every activity in your life with presence and vitality!
It is your birthright have an ocean-sized life and not one keeping you in a creekbed full of stuck circumstances. Maintaining overall health in mind and body lifts you out of a perpetual victim cycle and sets you up for victory. Your sense of vitality can’t live small, so when your body is in place, your mind will follow. Even your spirit will have a place to live, super-sizing your life with energy and joy. I know because I’m living proof!
As I reflect on the fullness of my life, rich in experience and abundant in blessings, the one piece that’s made all the difference is my yoga. It’s helped me live my life with individuality, creativity, laughter, authenticity, spontaneity, and faith, makes my spirit vibrant and advancing, and keeps my body and mind flexible and enduring. Depression is an epidemic right now in our world, and threatens to increase if we don’t take the reins back and advance what is inherently ours – a thriving life! DO YOGA!