Rather than simplifying our lives, sometimes technology seems to do the opposite…. new gadgets, hours in front the computer screen, google-reader feed and emails flooding in my inbox, and now the latest “google buzz” business.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
~ Albert Einstein
Do these make me more productive, or are they scattering my energy and focus?
In my constant shuffle through information (and emotional) overload, I realize that certain aspects of technology have become daily necessities for my overall wellbeing.
Two examples I immediately think of are e-stickies and e-journaling. E-stickies on my laptop provide daily reminders of short-term projects, long-term goals, daily habits to cultivate, values to live by. The e-journal is my password-protected space where I safely de-clutter my mind… sometimes going months without it, but sometimes opening it multiple times a day.
Hiliary Critchley is an amazing woman, with whom I have had many coffee-date discussions about these issues… questioning ourselves: Is this what I really want to be doing in my life? Where do I go from here? How do I fit everything in? We both came to the practice of yoga, in part because it helps us with these questions.
Below, Hiliary talks about finding balance... and how technology helps, rather than hinders this process.
Guest Blogger, Hiliary Critchley:
Time for yoga, technology for balance
The simple purpose that yoga plays in my life is the maintenance of balance.
The point of balance in an increasingly complex and technical world is to, according to the Wikipedia definition, “maintain the center of gravity of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway.”
For me, this balance takes many forms:
- Balance in food consumption: A workout routine allows me to more easily walk by those aromas emanating from the closest restaurant. To remember that food is meant to nourish and sustain the body, which brings associated pleasure, but that food can also lead to negative health outcomes if over-indulged in.
- Balance in emotional state: The highs and lows are more easily taken in stride when viewed from a larger perspective. Yoga reminds me of my small place in the world and in history.
- Balance between work and personal life: My life is a mix of both. Each segment of my life should take only a certain percentage of my time and energy.
- Balance in relationships with others and with myself: If one over-gives to others, yoga is a great way to reconnect with your own true desires. Sometimes these are hidden not within the complexities of the mind, but within the body.
Although there are plenty of arguments about technology disrupting natural human and community rhythms, there are just as many arguments posturing the opposite. While technology can drain my time and energy, it also enables me to squeeze in a yoga practice, to make productive use of time while waiting for people, and to make more time for my significant other, my friends, and myself.
Here are some ways we can use technology to help stay balanced:
- Reconnecting with friends: Social media (Facebook, Twitter) has made this exponentially easier than it was five years ago.
- Cooking: Look up a quick and healthy recipe on epicurious or food.com.
- Maintaining daily health habits: Use free applications on the iphone like “Lose It” to look up the nutritional value of a meal about to be consumed, or “Yoga Trainer Lite” and “Yoga at Home” to get ideas for a home yoga practice when unable to make it to a class.
- Traveling: When out of town, quick searches to find yoga and healthy food in a new city.
- Creativity: Blogging, writing, tweets, facebook updates... all opportunities for creativity, getting a message out there, or expressing an emotion when something out of the ordinary happens.
- Laughter: Watching shows like the Daily Show or Colbert Report on hulu.com when you have a free 20 minutes.
- Health monitoring: Using tools such as google’s personal health records to keep track of your cholesterol, BMI, vaccinations, etc. These are the wave of the future.