Have you ever thought about how long you’ve been doing certain things? Of my many pursuits, I only recently made some strong connections between two of my favorite activities: reading and yoga. I figured out that this year celebrates my 28th year of using and teaching speed reading strategies and my 15th year of practicing yoga. So how are they related?
Last month, I shared my first three ideas in this post. I hope these remaining ideas resonate with you, either for the reading part, or the yoga!
4. It’s about your space.
Reading – Where you read is very important. The place should be distraction-free (did I hear someone say turn off the cell phone too?!), somewhat comfortable but not too comfy and uncluttered. Sitting at a desk or table is more appropriate than a couch or recliner if reading for school or work. When reading for pleasure, you can do it anywhere you want.
Yoga – Doing yoga is considered a spiritual practice requiring a singular focus. It too needs some clear space, a distraction-free environment and a yoga mat. I can do yoga in a wood floor studio with tall windows and lots of natural light or on a sandy beach or grassy lawn. What would be your preference?
5. It’s about balance.
Reading – Realistically balancing how much you have to read with your available time will reduce your reading pile stress. Get rid of unwanted material so you can read what’s most important to you. Also reading for three hours straight without a break isn’t advisable. Your eyes and brain need short breaks every 20-30 mins.
Yoga – Yoga has taught me that whatever you do with one side of your body, you need to do with the other to “balance” it out. I translate this into other areas of my life like the need for work and pleasure, reading and breaks and seeing both sides of an issue.
6. It’s about doing it regularly to stay in practice.
Reading – When you learn better reading strategies, it’s important to use them, regularly. As the old adage goes: If you don’t use ’em, you lose ’em!
Yoga – I do yoga about once a week. I envy folks who do it several times a week or daily! But it really doesn’t matter how often it’s practiced. As long as it’s practiced.
7. There’s no one best way to do it.
Reading – There are many reading strategies to help you become a better reader and each one has its value. You may not like them all but you learn to know which you like the best. It doesn’t matter which you chose as long as it works for you.
Yoga – Yoga newbies are under the impression they need to perform like everyone else. Well, if you honestly look around at others in your yoga group, you will see that there is a wide range of how people’s bodies interpret the poses. It doesn’t matter how to execute a pose, as long as you aren’t hurting yourself and you’re doing it the way your body feels it can.
8. It’s about the end reward.
Reading – Finishing a book or getting though a magazine is incredibly rewarding. The enjoyment, the learning and/or the raw sense of completing a reading assignment for school or work is a great self-satisfying reward.
Yoga – At the end of every yoga class, there is a wonderful restorative posture called “shivasana”. It’s basically where you lay flat on your back with your arms and legs spread away from your body and where you close your eyes and just relax. It’s a period of absolute surrender, mental and physical. It’s the reward for challenging the mind and body.
Are there activities you do that compare well to reading? I’d love to know!