“Too much action with too little intent makes for wasteful exertion of energy and the confusion between movement and progress.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
You’ve had those moments, getting into the car and carefully making your way to the highway only to find yourself arriving at your destination with the single thought that comes unbidden: how did I get here?
You’re no stranger to moving mindlessly on the road, at school, at work, at home, on your mat. They’re not proud moments, but they exist. So what to do about them?
Stay present, that’s what.
With the sheer amount of stress you’re loaded from the time you awake up, it’s no wonder that mentally checking out is something that comes with such ease, even when performing the most dangerous of activities (ahem, driving). You miss out on the experience as a whole, but even worse, you make it easier for you to check out again next time. Behaviors are, after all, habits, and what are habits but the things you repeatedly do? Some habits are far too easy to build.
This becomes problematic in a movement practice because the lack of internal awareness means a greater opportunity for injury, or the development of bad movement patterns. I’ve listened to some people complain that yoga caused their hips to hurt. But when their postures are examined, it comes to light that they’re dropping into their hips in Warrior and lunge poses rather than actively holding themselves up. But they’ll blame yoga and not they’re own mindlessness.
Friends and loved ones fall away after repeated mindlessness. Work relations, and your work itself, suffer from mindlessness. Moving for the sake of moving is not enough. You have to be aware. You have to be engaged. You have to be involved.
You have to be present.
So be present.
Header and Featured image background by: