Technology and in particular smart phones have some wonderful benefits. I use my smart phone every day. And I would never argue against the responsible use of it. But do we use it responsible and mindful?
The last few years I have been feeling an increasingly unattractive and unhealthy trend of using smart phones. It is highly not enjoyable to spend time around people who constantly stick with their phones. The trend is called device addiction. The first thing we grab in the morning is our phone and we are checking all social media and emails. Technology has made us so busy connecting, commenting and reading online social platforms that we forget the people around us.
When we are texting, emailing and facebooking in the presence of others, we are not being where we are. We are only partially engaged with the real world. If we try to minimize the amount of time we spend on our phones, we can be present with ourselves and the people around us.
A good time to engage with the real world and in particular ourselves, is during yoga and meditation class. To all yoga devotees, let’s try to detox from our electronic devices for a few hours a day and enjoy having space that is as free of distractions as possible.
When class starts I very much appreciate not being reachable. I want to escape from friends, family, superiors, neighbors and strangers – even from myself. I need a break from the to-do list, emails, traffic, holiday plans, lunch/dinner chats and the always-present “what-am-I-doing-with-my-life” question.
The idea of putting my phone next to my mat is unthinkable for me. The amount of concentration Yoga demands is immense. When practicing yoga with body awareness and patience I feel better and can concentrate better if I focus on what’s happening right now in my body/mind. Holding focus is more difficult than holding plank. So to gain focus and improve concentration, you must be willing to disconnect from your phone.
Be considerate enough to understand that fussing with a phone in class would be inconsiderate to everyone else. It’s disrespectful to the teacher, the students around you, the place, and the yoga discipline itself. But most importantly, it is disrespectful to yourself. You unconsciously distract yourself. Give your overloaded “always-on” brain a break.
By doing so, you will be able to recharge your body and mind, re-connect with yourself, improve your mood, boost your concentration, feel strong, present, proactive and focused.
I always feel great after my yoga classes, knowing I gave my body and mind a well-deserved rest from all the distractions of daily life.
Another very positive result of leaving your phone in the cubby is, you probably won’t be late for class anymore. Everybody can be late sometimes due to traffic or bad weather but if you come late on a regular basis it might be because of spending time on checking emails, messages or Facebook updates.
Try and leave your phone in the cubby. You will be surprised how relieved and relaxed you feel after your class. Please give yourself the chance and numerous health benefits to feel less scattered for the time you practice yoga, disconnect from everything and just enjoy the calm and peaceful surrounding and your practice. Practice time is your time.
Ready to disconnect? Find freedom from your phone.
by Helena Hoffmann