What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Make coffee? Yeah, me too. But If you're anything like me, you're also grabbing your iPhone and your MacBook. You're cruising Facebook while checking the sports scores on ESPN.com. But it doesn't stop there, does it? I often find myself checking my accounts at 9am, noon, 3pm, 8pm....it's addicting! Every day there's a new technology trying to pull me away from my mat and from life. Which is why I've developed what I termed The 6.25 Percent Principle.
One yoga class is 1.5 hours, which is about 6.25 percent of your day. That's an hour and a half away from your iPhone, iPad, Android, laptop, television and other electronic devices. Does the thought of unplugging stress y'all out? It shouldn't. The 6.25 percent of your day is all it takes to nourish and heal the other techno-filled hours.
For 90 minutes no texts, no phone calls, and no interruptions. Give yourself the gift of meaningful and healing me time.
Imagine that you're a well. You keep giving and giving and giving. You have to placate the mother-in-law, the kids are going crazy and the spouse is demanding your time, too. Don't forget the energy vampires in your life who try to suck you dry, but you love to sacrifice yourself for them anyway (you know who I'm talkin' about). On top of that chaos, there's the never-ending work that's always threatening to crush you. And don't forget the zombies in traffic and the text afflicted pedestrians taking seven minutes to walk across the street while all you want to do is make a right hand turn, for God's sake! All that technology -- email, calls, text messages, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and games -- doesn't help the situation. If anything, this technology gives everyone more access to you. Eventually, everything will become too much. And you won't have anything left to give. Then what?
Before that happens, step onto the mat, your sanctuary. Take a load off. Refill your well and regain your sanity. Or if you can't make it to the studio, take a bath, go for a walk or just do your relaxing thing, whatever that may be. Be there for yourself. Life will go on. You can catch up after you've taken some time to check in with your mind and body. Just remember, however you chose to spend your 6.25 percent, leave your iPhone and darn Nike tracker at home and the other 93.75 percent of your day will be a lot better because of it.
Think about this:
* Many people spend an average of eight to 10 hours a day on their technical gadgets.
* Too much time spent with your mind consumed by technical gadgets takes time away from your body and soul and your family and friends. Which would you rather cultivate?
* The more time you can give yourself, the more time you'll have for others.
* Many of us have developed the habit of spending a lot of our time in front of screens. Habits can become character traits.
* Sitting is killing us! Too much time spent looking down while sitting will damage your posture and health. Looking at a four- to 14-inch screen for hours on end will limit your vision in all its definitions.
Then do this:
* When you first wake up in the morning, dedicate the first hour of your day to being gadget free and mentally and verbally quiet, even if you have to wake up an hour before the rest of the people in your home. Go for a walk, meditate, practice yoga. Wake up your body with a big warm glass of water with lemon. Walk the dog and prepare a healthy breakfast. Take this first hour for yourself.
* To prepare for a good night's sleep, turn off all electrical gadgets one hour before bed -- Everything! Use this last hour of the day in the same way you started your day, mentally and verbally quiet. There's great science behind this.
* If not work related, limit your social media exposure to 15-minute bursts.
* The 'hide' button is your friend. Hide or don't follow people who you have a negative reaction to. You know who they are.
* Start practicing yoga. There are great online streaming sites now. Udaya.com is a leader in this space. Start with 20 minutes a day for a week. On the second week increase it to 30 minutes. Before you know it you will be looking forward to an hour-long practice. This becomes a habit after about 40 days and a life affirming one at that.
Remember it's only 6.25 percent of your day. A powerful 6.25 percent