Does thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of. – Ben Franklin
Developing into a fully functional adult, for me, has been nothing short of a great adventure. I had moved halfway around the world from home, far away from my family and friends, and I was expected to cook, clean, teach, do research and take courses, all at once. I plunged right in, and before long, I was neck deep in deadlines, to-do lists and appointments. I followed the advice of various time management experts; I put my activities in quadrants and prioritized and planned and organized and planned some more.
As days became weeks, and weeks became months, I found that I was taking longer to do things than I should, and that my to-do lists were frequently longer at the end of the day than in the beginning. Then I took The Art of Living Yoga course. I learnt a lot of useful tricks, but my biggest takeaway was that feeling of pure enthusiasm and dynamism that I felt after every session. For three days, after every yoga work out, I found myself feeling inspired and focused throughout the day. I was efficient and helpful, and effortlessly so! I wanted to see if the same phenomenon could be achieved every day, so I decided to try out a few things, and it worked wonders! Here are my cherished tips; it is now the only list I carry around with me.
- Well begun is more than half done – Start the day off with some yoga and meditation. Basic yoga stretches and warm ups help loosen me up and the meditation refreshes me, so I know that I am fully charged and ready to tackle the rest of the day!
- A mind that says, “YES!”. A positive attitude fosters success and yoga fosters a positive attitude.
- The balancing act – Yoga and time management are both all about balance. My yoga teacher taught me that the poses we adopt must be stable and comfortable (Sthiramsukhamasanam). I make sure that my plan for the day keeps me occupied properly, but leaves enough time for recuperation and entertainment.
- Intuition helps prioritize well – A very powerful yoga technique, the Sun Salutations (suryanamaskar) has innumerable benefits, one of which is developing your intuition, your third eye center. This helps you choose your activities with wisdom and foresight.
- The two o’ clock power down – After lunch, our body is spending its energy in digestion, and we tend to feel a little tired and lethargic. Yoga Nidra is a super-nap. In less than twenty minutes you feel deeply rested and fresher than from drinking any energy drink, without the unwanted side effect of a sugar or caffeine crash.
- Smile, smile, smile! Sometimes, things just take longer than we expect, the day goes in unpredictable ways, and there are unavoidable delays and last minute changes. But as my yoga teacher would remind me as I would strive to hold my body in naukasana (boat pose), keep smiling!
(Written by Arati Santhanakrishnan, a Bangalore resident who is pursuing higher education in the US. Arati Santhanakrishnan is a bundle of enthusiasm, dynamism and a ‘yes’ mind. Amidst her PhD classes, Arati moonlights as a writer.)