This is the age of speed dating, speed yoga, and, yes, even speed meditation. It’s a time of rush-rush-rush in the attempt to do more, sooner, faster. But there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of evidence that packing in more actually achieves more. If squeezing ever more into your day isn’t enabling you to accomplish more—and to feel good about the more that you accomplish—perhaps some slowing down is in order.
There is a different idea called the Slow Movement. Carl Honoré is a key advocate of this movement. In his TED talk on the topic, he states the movement is designed to counteract the notion that faster is always better; the objective of the slow movement is to seek the right speed to do things, savouring hours and minutes spent rather than measuring and counting them, and doing things as well as possible rather than as fast as possible.
We are so caught up in the culture of speed that we fail to notice the toll it takes on our lives, health, work, and relationships. And too often, it takes a wake-up call to achieve a different perspective.
What is even more interesting is that, though we might have the desire to know and do everything instantly, the moments that we look back on and cherish are often the ones that were the least expected. They are the moments that came out of nowhere, the ones that we took the time to experience and indulge in the experience, the ones where we created memories slowly, one step at a time. As we grow older and indulge ourselves in the fast-paced world, we sometimes forget the joys of the unexpected.
Slowing down on the Mat
Slower is stronger. Slower is control. Yoga helps you gain control of your body. There are times when we are asked to use our core control to slowly come out of a pose or to lower ourselves to the ground.
Yoga and meditation teach us how to be comfortable with slowness. They train our bodies and minds and help shift us into a lower gear. This brings obvious physical benefits such as greater flexibility, strength and balance. But it also goes deeper than that. It can cultivate an inner calm that you take with you into the more hectic moments of the day – so that you keep your head while all around you are losing theirs.
By slowing us down, yoga gives more depth and meaning to our lives. One of the key benefits of decelerating is that it gives us the time and tranquility to look inside ourselves, to listen to our hearts, to get in touch with our souls, to ask the big questions in life.
Perhaps it is time to gain the control that comes with slowness; perhaps it is time to get in touch with your inner tortoise.