As I lay on my mat the other day in a Pilates class, it occurred to me why I like this form of exercise so much (and Yoga too). It’s because I have to do everything really slowly, mindfully, with focus and concentration and paying close attention to the quality of my movements.
How often do we have the chance to do that? Or, more accurately, how often do we make time for ourselves to do this? Of course, you don’t have to do Pilates or Yoga, if that kind of thing doesn’t particularly float your boat, but the truth is, we all need to slow down, and even stop, every now and then, or face the consequences of living life at such a fast pace.
For all of you reading this now, and thinking, “I don’t have time for all that fluffy clouds and unicorns stuff”, let me congratulate you on reading thus far. What you’ve done is a little bit of mindfulness, right in front of your screen. And now you’ve done that, you can take it a step further too, and reap the benefits. Just take 3 slow, calm breaths. Right now. There you go. Instant evening-out of your heart rate. If you’ve got 2 minutes to carry on with this, the benefits are even greater, but one minute will do, or even 30 seconds, if you really think you’re pushed for time.
Nope, it won’t take away the stresses that trip you up every day. It won’t improve other people’s rude, irrational behaviour. It won’t change the world. But what it will do is change you, just for a moment. And whatever you think, you do actually have a moment. You can spare a moment. And moments add up. Small price to pay for an investment in your mental health, isn’t it?
Is that it? Yup. You can make these moments whatever you like, wherever you like, with whoever you like. Make them in grand places, open spaces, in a corner of a room, in the bathroom, just before you go to sleep, whilst walking the dog, walking round the supermarket, walking up the stairs. You can do them formally, in a class with others, or with a one-to-one life coach, if that’s your preference.
“But I can’t empty my mind!” I hear you cry. Doesn’t matter. That’s not what it’s about. What it’s about is slowing down, taking a moment and recognising what’s happening with each of your senses, just for a short moment.
So if you really do care about your mind, and your body, do some of this, in some form, every day, a few times. You’ll find a way if you really want to. And it will make a difference in time. You just have to slow down enough to realise and appreciate that difference.
And the title to this blog, part of the lyrics from the Paul Simon song, also has this great line:
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you
All is groovy
What could you do to make your life a bit more groovy for a couple of minutes?