Yoga in Your Everyday Life: Distractions & Stress

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Sutra 1: 30-31 - Illness, procrastination, doubt, carelessness, laziness, longing, confusion, apathy, and instability are the obstacles that crate pain in various ways. The obstacles that cause suffering manifest as mental agitation, physical trembling, and erratic breathing.

We are going to start with an exercise I once learned at a Nonprofit Training Conference.

Set a timer for 60 seconds. Write out the numbers 1-26 as quickly as you can. Stop the timer and write down how long it took you.

Repeat this but this time write the letters A-Z.

Repeat this one last time, but alternate those sets (example: 1, A, 2, B, 3, C…).

Now compare all those times. Which was your best? Which was the worst?

I bet the last time was your worst. Now reflect on how in the last 5 minutes you’ve really accomplished nothing… annoyed? #multitasking.

Multitasking really doesn’t work; our brains literally can’t do it. Instead we are just jumping our brains from tab to tab (if our brains were internet apps). Don’t believe me? Fine, I linked some science people who say the same thing below.

But really! How distracted do you get in your everyday life by ‘multitasking?’ Driving and tweeting? BAD. Having lunch with a loved one and texting your boss? BAD. Trying to get those full 8 hours in and your phone notifications keep blowing up...and you can’t just not look? BAD.

These distractions can also sometimes be harmless. Watching a dumb show and checking YogiOakley’s Instagram? Fine. Cooking dinner & listening to a podcast? Just don’t catch anything on fire.

It is when these distractions do cause harm that it disrupts our practice and actually hurts our brains! Ever gotten stressed, anxious, or full of fear scrolling on your phone? What about checking your latest FB feed and starting to feel envy & loneliness? Or maybe the obvious - instead of working on one thing at a time with your full energy, creating two, less than your best, things at the same time with half energy?

Sutra 1:32- Spiritual one-pointedness is the best way to remove the obstacles.

Part of your practice is to be fully present. Remember, that is what the first few Sutras are about! These feelings of overwhelm and stress are keeping you from being one with yourself. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know you can’t just stop being anxious. Trust me. I’ve tried everything. But, anything you do to fight it - COUNTS as your practice. You are trying to become one with your true nature, calm your mind, and get rid of the distractions. For you, maybe that really translates to spending an hour on your mat everyday! That is awesome! For me, it is journaling, creating color coded lists, keeping an organized desk, and learning new time saving strategies (I know. I’m a #nerd). That is STILL yoga, and it is part of my everyday life.

Need some ideas? Check out the Sutras Book 1:34-39. It explains how breathing & mindfulness help calm and ease the mind….so… #yoga.

Let me know what you do to rid yourself of distractions, calm your mind, or work to find peace. I promise, it counts as yoga - but I’d still love to learn!

Research Links:

Harvard Business Review

Cleveland Clinic


University Of Sussex


Do your own research too! There is a TON out there


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