I hitched a ride back to my hotel tonight from the car rental place and learned a few very important lessons from the driver. He asked if I was in town for work or fun, and happily I got to reply "both." My work is fun. I told him a little bit about what I do with yoga. He told me his kids have yoga in school and they come home and show off their moves. We both agreed kids are already so limber and usually don't have the psychological blocks that we build up over time.
He grew up in Mexico and moved to LA when he was 12, along with his family. He's married with 2 little kids ages 4 and 6. I would guess he is a few years shy of 30. He started talking to me about his stress levels. He said a few months ago he wasn't feeling very well. He went to the doctor who diagnosed him with depression, and gave him a prescription for anxiety medication. Ouch. He said he took a few of the pills but didn't notice any difference, and realized the root of the problem was stress. From that point on he realized he had his own ability to do something about his problem, and he wasn't in need of any pills.
My new pal told me he had figured out how to relax his brain and enjoy himself. To me that's yoga, and he knew how to practice. There isn't a big mystical mystery to solve, figure out, or drop yourself into here. To the extent that any of this is mysterious at all, it's just that these things get covered up by our everyday lives. It was this covering up that lead my friend to the doctor first, before he recognized that he already had what he needed. The solutions reside within, and are brought to the surface in different ways for each one of us.
For my new pal, it took him a trip to the doctor and a prescription for anxiety pills to realize he could do something about his condition. He told me he now keeps his bedroom clear for resting and sleep. No computer, paperwork, or TV, just rest and relaxation. That's a great tip we all could use. We have to make time and routines to wind down from all of the things that can cause anxiety. We can come back to our stuff at the appropriate time. Worry never solves any problems. He told me when he rests properly he feels more equipped psychologically to deal with day-to-day things when they arise. Things have a proper place now and don't dominate his life.
We all have anxiety to some degree. Stress is something that needs to be managed or we can spin out of control, causing ourselves all kinds of real physical and psychological problems. Making time, even in small amounts, for rest and relaxation is necessary for our bodies and minds to function properly and be able to keep things in perspective. Use what you need. Rest what you don't. That's efficiency. Think of how well we can function when we are aren't holding tension where it isn't needed. Everything gets easier, even the hard things. No matter what your goals or day-to-day existence entails, we can all use this kind of efficiency. This is a routine I came up with when I got back to my hotel, inspired by my new pal who reminded me to relax my brain.