Most of us try to make an effort to include things in our schedule that are for ourselves. We have been trained that 'time for the self' is of the essence in being able to handle stress. Yoga, meeting with friends, a run - good ideas, but we do them in a way that is not only self-defeating, but can create more stress rather than relieve it.
We treat the things we do (like yoga) as a means to handle stress. While yoga may be a successful way of temporarily relieving stress, we miss the purpose of the experience. Yoga is not about handling stress; it is about developing your body and mind so that the experience of living becomes more integrated. If we only see it as a response to stress then if we are not experiencing 'enough stress' we will be incapable of recognizing the benefits of the yoga session. We will not have that kind of bliss of relaxation and control that comes from the contrast to our stressed and out of control feelings we had when we arrived at the yoga class. Given enough weeks of 'less than optimum stress' one of two things will happen - we will find excuses to give up the yoga class (as it no longer feels needed) or, subconsciously we will begin to generate stress to provide the contrast so we can enjoy the yoga.
We work against ourselves when we choose to do things because of stress. In planning the week we set our yoga class on Thursday because we expect to be stressed by Thursday creating the opportunity for a self-fulfilling prophecy to occur. Never underestimate the power of your subconscious. The subconscious is a wonderful and powerful thing but has never been known to be guided by any type of logical or rational thoughts - those come from our waking mind.
c.2011 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved