Phone

Find time… away from your phone, at least that’s what my personal sub heading is to the title of this week’d class theme.

Let me ask you this, ever taken your mobile phone with you into the toilet? Is it the first thing you check in the morning? Maybe the last thing you check at night? How often do you carry it in your hand when you have a perfectly good pocket or bag that it can go into? And how may times a day do you aimlessly spend scrolling through Face/Twit/Intsa/Pinter/and the rest of the social media likes?

All questions I ask myself and utterly hate myself for the answers.

If you’re thinking ‘I’m not actually that bad’, I’m not actually surprised.

I’m an admin of 20 different Facebook business pages. I tweet from 13 different accounts and I Instagram from twelve different accounts. For those of you that don’t know, I run my own business as a digital marketing professional as well one as a yoga teacher, I spend a lot of time online.

Here I am working at the 2017 Oxted Beer Festival:

I do a lot of scrolling, liking, clicking, typing, following, tweeting, posting… all with my right hand.

Why? A) it’s quick and easy to do it from your phone – and you can do it on the go. B) a lot of apps (like Instagram) are mobile only apps so you have no choice.

When I discovered yoga I finally found something that gave me TIME – time away from the madness that is social media. Time away from the screen and the repetitive scrolling and the Text Neck – yes that pain in your neck you get when you do waaaaay too many small movements in your right (or left) thumb.

My teacher Debbie always said teach from your heart, be true. So here’s my teaching – here’s my truth bomb:

I spend way too much time on my phone. I’m obsessed. It’s unhealthy.

Yes I love social media. Yes I love it so much I made a career out of it. Yes that career, which caused me so much damage in my shoulder, took me towards yoga. But yes the yoga also has a digital element of which I share with you my learnings. And yes the cycle starts again.

And yes I have found recently as I have taken to self employment that the curse of the phone has got worse. I answer emails all times of the day, I work weekends, I work on holiday, I work on train journeys, when I am walking to the station or the shop – I’m a workaholic. Even writing this is work.

But can you be a workaholic when you love what you do?

Like I love my job, I love helping people through yoga – I love opening up and writing these blogs, I love teaching people the amazing things I have learned… but there’s sometimes one thing missing: time.

(Left arm under vs right arm under in cow face arms – check out the shoulders, the grip the gap in between the top arm and body – can you see how much neater and happier it looks with the left arm under?)

Time to stop. Pause. Reflect. Connect. Restore. Reset.

And I tell you all this, not because I want you to think ‘dear god my yoga teacher is having a mental breakdown’ (trust me I’m not) – I tell you this because there’s often a ‘them and me’ thing with a yoga teacher ‘it’s ok for them to say because they are all zen’, ‘that would be easy because they are a yoga teacher, they are flexible’ – thoughts I have had many a time about my teachers, and I realise that often the learnings in my classes are ‘give yourself time, be open, allow space, breathe’, easy for me to say, right?

To say yes, but to practice no.

So I give these teachings, sort of as a lesson and a reminder to myself as well passing on what I have learned to you – that finding time to stop and switch off is literally heaven’s nectar. And it’s something we all need to do more of – yours truly included.

So let’s try it together. When you finish reading this blog, stop. Reflect. Give your shoulders a nice stretch, draw them down your spine, turn away from your screen and make a cup of tea. Sit and enjoy that cup of tea if only for five minutes.

Enjoy.

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