November Mantra: I disconnect to connect.

Stop what you are doing right now, look around, and see if you can find 5 people. I bet all of those people have a device in front of their face. How long does it take for someone to make eye contact with you? Seriously, do it. Stop, breathe and count how many breaths you can take before someone looks you in your eyes.

Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the 90’s. It’s not just the baggy pants, (thank goodness those are back!), it’s the pace of life. The lack of technology. I miss the simplicity, which I didn’t even realize was so precious then. Do you remember the days when you would call your friend to meet up, and then just go to that spot and wait for them to show!? No texting “be 5 mins late”, no posting on Instagram about your meet up. Do you remember when movie night meant a trip to Blockbuster to pick out a movie, which hopefully they still had in stock? Do you remember craving your favourite song, and borrowing your friends cassette tape and hitting “fast forward” to get to that perfect spot to hear it play on your Walkman!? Do you remember a time before texting, liking, posting, selfies, DM’s and constant connection?

Life then seemed slower, simpler… and yet somehow richer with all it’s lack of speed and “connection”. Lately I have been feeling so damn DONE with technology. I’m missing the 90’s. I’m craving less scrolling, and more real, honest connection.

Last month, YogaGen had a series of technology mishaps… in the span of 2 weeks both our Instagram accounts and our webpage were hacked. Our website was down for over a week, and I still can’t back into our Instagram account (anyone have any ideas?). A few weeks before, our online store went down. I know this is part of owning a business in 2022 – but lately I feel like putting a sign up at the door that says “Need Yoga? Come inside!” because I am just so DONE with all the hoops we have to jump through to do what we actually do – YOGA.

Nicole and I started YogaGen because we both love Yoga, and believe in its purpose in this world. Yoga has helped us both SO much in SO many ways. Yoga taught me to love my awkward 16 year old body, and cool my temperamental reactions. Yoga was there to keep me busy in my first big break up in my early 20’s, and to help me process the grief of my Dad’s unexpected death. Yoga has kept me calm and strong through two pregnancies, and I fully credit the virtual studio for my ability to slide into my skinny jeans just one week after giving birth to my second baby (not that that’s the point of Yoga, but damn, it was a nice side effect!). Yoga is not just my business, yoga is my life. I need it, like I need food and water and shelter and love. Teaching and practicing Yoga is my life.

And when all of the technology that is supposed to connect us, actually prevents me from doing Yoga, my favourite way to actually connect!? That is just not OK. I have this feeling that technology is getting in the way of my Yoga; technology is getting in the way of my life. I find myself so attached to my phone. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning, the last thing I see at night and I can’t go anywhere with out it. And I know I am not the only one. Do you ever find yourself pick up your phone, see you have no notifications, and then open it up anyways and look at anything – instagram? Facebook? Email? Whatsapp? Literally anything.

This month I want to practice the yogic concept of Aparigraha, or non-attachment. The teaching of this Yama is all about letting go of the things you are most attached to in an effort to ease suffering from that attachment. Apargiraha teaches us to free our minds from the burden of that item. You can apply this concept to literally any tangible, non-necessary item that you are attached to…. Like your phone for example!

This month, I want to connect outside of the realm of technology. I want to make small chat with that stranger in the check out line. I want to call my relatives in Ontario and actually hear their voices. I want to resist the urge to check my email for one whole day. I want to connect in the ways that actually connect us, not just in a superficial “Insta” connection. Let’s put down our phones and make eye contact, and breathe together and connect in the ways we used to. Who is with me?

A few ways to live the mantra:

  • Leave your phone at home. Crazy, right? Don’t take it with you when you goto Yoga, when you meet up with a friend for a meal, or when you go for a walk. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this right now?”
  • Don’t check your phone for the sake of checking your phone. If there’s a phone call, answer it, if there is text check it, but don’t open it just for the sake of opening it.
  • Delete your social media apps, or turn off the notifications.
  • Try not to look at any screens after 8:00pm. This includes the TV! You’ll be amazed at the conversations you have, the books you have time for, and the hobbies you pick up when you are bored in the evenings.
  • Put your phone down in public and look around. Make eye contact with whoever you can. Smile. Don’t look away right away, but enjoy just smiling at a stranger.
  • Connect with you love ones – have a meaningful conversation, light a candle and just enjoy each other without your devices.
  • Come to Yoga Date Night on November 19th!

Written by Prestonne Sehn

Posted in Blog.