So I sit there with a bunch of strangers…
There may be a much deeper reason why you can’t relax in a yoga class then just stress.
When I was an ultrabusy manager, I had no time for anything. Most importantly, I did not have time to relax, because that would be a total waste of time. I had to keep going and doing, I had so much potential! Sometimes my body would tell me: Alex, you need to get some rest! And then I would go for a yoga class.
Because it’s relaxing both for the body and the mind.
Right. For me, it went something like this:
So I sit there with a bunch of strangers (wondering: What’s relaxing about this?!), do the exercises and the meditation at the end. I have no idea how to get my mind not to think about all the IMPORTANT stuff that has to be done at work or at the charity organization I’m a vice-president of. I can’t wait to get back to working. Work is not super fun, but it keeps my mind busy. Right now, my mind is boooored.
“These 3 minute meditations are too long! But I’ll give it a try, supposedly it’s really good for you. Actually, it would be great to relax, I haven’t been able to get the tension from my back for months and after all, I am now seeing a physiotherapist twice a week.
So let’s give this a try. I’m doing the lotus flower sit. Everyone has their eyes closed – I know, because I keep lurking to check upon others. They seem to be doing okay. I close my eyes. I open my left eye to check how everyone else is doing. Everyone seems totally zen. I’m agitated. Fuck. I’m broken.
How are they doing this?!! They probably don’t have a challenging job like mine, they must be relaxed and tralala all the time. Hippies! I’m outta here!”
This was more or less my inner dialogue. Now that I am 10.000 times wiser, balanced and after 18 months of depression, I know that it is perfectly possible to have a challenging job and be able to relax at the same time.
The reason is… chaos!
I also understood why I couldn’t relax. It was not because of stress and responsibilities. It was because of the chaos inside me.
I was running in circles, going down the “normal” path of having a job and climbing up the corporate ladder. I wasn’t making consicous decisions about my future. I never stopped to wonder – hey, is this what I really want to be doing for the rest of my life? I was just going forward, mind-numbingly, happy with my successess and achievements. Even though I thought I was very self-aware, the reality is – I was following many paths that lied ahead of me, paved by other people, instead of slowing down to think and design my own path.
I write more about what happened to me in this article.
Stress is a very general expression – if you can’t relax in a yoga class, it’s not because of stress, but because of something much deeper. For example, why do you agree to have all that stress in your life? Do you think you don’t have a choice? Do you feel trapped in a golden cage? What does this stress bring to your life and is it worth it?
I always start working with my clients by asking them what do they want, and they either don’t know, or know but are not doing anything to get it. There is chaos inside most of us, chaos that comes from a lack of direction and decisions. It leads us to bad decisions and that in turn causes stress.
So if you can’t relax in a yoga class, maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself: What do I want? Where am I going?
♥ ♥ ♥
If you’d like to quiet that chaos, get a sense of direction and start consistently working towards making your biggest dreams come true, I’d love to help you out – write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a free exploratory call directly here.