Why I Fell In Love With Yoga – My Job Was Killing Me
So here it is. The short, sweet, unfiltered truth about what drew me to yoga.
Cell phones, laptops, emails, maybe even the occasional TPS report. I used to work for a software company, and no matter where I was, they could always get a hold of me, no matter what. However, every rule has an exception, and the one time that absolutely no one in the world could contact me was when I was practicing.
Perhaps it was my own personal rebellion against corporate America, or maybe I legitimately did not want to be bothered with another late-evening email from a faceless client that I’ve never met. Either way, when I hit my mat, the cell phone gets turned off and the laptop gets shut down. I turn my phone to airplane mode, and let the music blare. No calls, no voicemails, no rapid-fire text messages from my frantic boss. Just me, my mat, some hard-hitting heavy-bass electronic music, and a series of Sun Salutations that were almost better than sex… well, maybe not, but you get the point.
Some of you will relate to this article (perhaps a very yogi middle-fingerasana to the corporate machine), and some of you won’t because you didn’t waste your time stuffed into a cubicle doing mind-numbing work for a paycheck… kudos to you by the way… but regardless of your familiarity to my situation, I think everyone can acknowledge that yoga provides something that is very hard to find in our current society: solace.
Be Here Now
The practice is meant to bring you into the present moment, bring you to the here and now, to your breath and body. As an additional cosmic bonus, it takes you away from whatever Word, Excel, or PowerPoint docs you are trying to get done so your boss doesn’t have an aneurism (sorry Bill, I hope this article doesn’t have a negative effect on your $18B quarterly revenue).
In my experience, detachment is the key to happiness. Here’s why: when you attach to certain outcome, there is an inherent fear of not hitting that outcome. This is why our society rewards pulling all-nighters at the office, why people forego personal relationships for the sake of hitting their monthly sales goal, why married couples split because of a lack of intimacy, and why people socially ask what you do for a living as gauge of your place on the totem pole.
Your practice, and I mean your personal practice, is a place of detachment, it’s a place of solace, it’s a place of escape. It’s your time to be you, as beginner or advanced as you may be. It’s a time when cell phones and laptops can be set aside, in the same way you’d set aside the remote control for your TV when you’re not watching TV. Devices serve a purpose, but know when to set them down.
If you currently have a job, assume that you’re already good at it. If you weren’t, they would have fired you by now. That said, taking an hour out of your day to dedicate to yourself, to keep holy, will only benefit you and those around you, so embrace it fully.
Finally, this post was not intended to offend any of you out there who are truly happy in your current positions. I’m not questioning your path or goals. Happy is happy, and there’s no arguing with it. What I’m suggesting is merely this: To stay content requires some time away, some time to recharge your batteries. It’s very easy to let your happy job turn into an obsession, which then very quickly turns into a toxic relationship.
Make time for yourself each day. Whether it’s yoga, or just turning all your phones off at the family dinner table, make time to let go of all outside obligations, and just be in the moment with yourself or people you love.
Be light my friends,