When the seasons change from winter to spring, I welcome the arrival with my OCD's favorite April custom: spring cleaning. Why not show Autumn the same love? Reconnect with your yoga practice and re-prayanamize by taking it off the grid. We don't mean retreating to a cottage in Maine or hiking the Appalachian trail, we are talking about a simple digital detox.
How much data to you use daily? How many text messages are sent? How many devices do you own? Do you have a panic attack when the wireless fails for more than 10 seconds? Does the thought of leaving a life of 4G LTE, Google Chrome, and iPhones bring you to tears? We are having an intervention: you need a digital detox.
We realize that going computer and smartphone-free is not 100% practical or possible for MOST people. I work in an office and could go an entire day without my cell phone, feasibly, only using my computer from 9 am - 5 pm. So digital detoxes can be tweaked and the more honest you are about your true technological needs vs. wants, the more effective your detox will be. The detox can last 24 hours as a minimum to a week. My past detoxes have on average lasted around 3 full days.
Here are some suggestions to use as guidelines for a digital detox. Keep in mind suggestions are not requirements:
NO: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Buzzfeed, TMZ, or other entertainment, celebrity news, dating sites, and social media sites.
NO: Television or Radio (PBS and NPR are okay). No Netflix or Redbox, either.
NO: Computer games, small device games, or Playstation / XBox.
LIMIT: Computer and cell phone usage to an extreme minimum.
LEAVE IT: Alarm clock.
Some would ask why. I ask: why not? Why give yourself a break from the incessant ringing and dinging of phone calls, text messages, email alerts, and facebook alerts? Less time caught in a technology loop means more time to breathe, meditate, and to be present. Truly present in reality. Yoga helps us keep the line dividing reality and an alternate techno-reality clearly separate.
It is speculated that a human being in modern society is exposed to 5,000 advertisements per day. When we practice yoga and meditation, we permit that excess to leave our mind. We allow pervasive images, messages, and thoughts to flood and fill our mind every day. Allow this to happen, and then, with a smile, drain those thoughts and allow them to pass as you meditate and flow through asanas. The hour or hour and a half you are inside the yoga studio, you are free from the mental stressors and overstimulation of modern, techno-centered society. Continue the practice of disassociation from commercialization after leaving the studio with a 24-hour, three-day, or week long digital detox. Give it a try, or I'll send you a Facebook invitation to play Candy Crush Saga.