When I don't feel like biking to work, I carpool every now and then with one of my coworkers, Drew. About a month ago we were talking about stress back problems and I encouraged Drew to try yoga. A week ago, I rode to work with him again and he seemed extremely satisfied. "Thanks so much for suggesting that I try yoga," he gushed. "I've been doing fifteen minutes every morning for the past week and it's totally changed my outlook on life."
I felt like an idiot. Do as I say, not as I do. I hadn't done a lick of yoga in over a month and my lifestyle hasn't been exactly zen. In fact, I'm such a doer that the things that I do, which started out as enjoyable outlets for my excess energy, have started to cause more stress than joy. Even hanging out with friends sometimes feels like a chore - I'm thinking about the next task while I'm with them and I'm wishing I were at home working on my projects instead of with them. And once I get home, as I work on my projects, I start thinking about work the next day and worrying about how tired I'm going to be. This creates an endless cycle of worry, since I can't keep up with myself anymore. My tasks have taken over my life. That's when I have to stop and regroup.
I can handle a huge number of tasks as long as I stay in the moment during each of them and give each my all. For instance, when I go sailboat racing I have to be focused solely on getting the most out of the boat's sails, training my muscle memory to jibe and tack, and if I have a free second, enjoying the wind in my face and the salt air of the sound. I can't be thinking about the fact that I have rock-climbing in an hour, or that I'm going dancing after that. In other words, I have to FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND.
The best way to do that is the one I always preach to friends and haven't been following myself: 15-30 minutes of yoga before work in the morning. For the next 50 days I've decided to challenge myself to get back into it. Feel free to follow along if you like - I'd love to hear about your experiences doing 50 days of yoga. I'm right at that swing in the moving process where the adrenaline of a new place and new friends starts to wear off and the stress of the daily grind starts to set in (if you let it). But I won't let it.
Tomorrow can worry about its own problems. I'm going to stay in the moment.