"We only have one life" – about busy times & how to find calm

Mindfulness and centering, above all, are a great challenge, especially in today's world. Although well-known to everyone, it is not always possible to successfully overcome one‘s daily bustle. In her column, MANDALA Testimonial and Yin Yoga teacher Ranja Weis explains why and how Yoga and meditation can contribute to enjoying life to its fullest.

We Westerners live in a diversified, busy world. Many of us are constantly occupied, involved in multiple jobs and projects, and rotating from early morning until late in the evening.

Yoga is also often part of this thoroughly planned, active day. I see people in Yoga class hurrying through their exercises and can actually feel in the Savasana, how in their mind, they are at the same time also planning the evening’s dinner or the next day. Unfortunately, this is how they become completely oblivious to the great gift that Yoga has to offer: the creation of an inner space, an inner world of experience, free of constraints, conditioning, time pressure and To-Do's.

Savasana and meditation can give us the opportunity of discovering a level of being-in-touch with oneselfin another reality beyond time and space. But attaining this level is often uncomfortable, comparable to painfully squeezing oneself through the so-called narrow eye of the needle.

So, when we allow ourselves to free ourselves from this constant being occupied and to step into silence, at first, we are confronted with that which does not feel good, with our fear, grief, anger and loneliness, which may be the underlying reason for our constant bustle. Interestingly enough, in Buddhist teachings, activity is one of the most extreme forms of laziness.

Most things are done as automatically as brushing your teeth, you can turn your brain off and run on autopilot. But a self-contained, and therefore healthy, presence in all areas of our being requires hard work. It is a discipline that is fundamentally different from our daily bustling. Its result can be a deep contentment and give you the experience of having reached an inner space within yourself, in which creativity, beauty and love blossom.

From the development of our children, we can also foresee the fatal consequences of stuffing their days with music lessons, ballet classes, homework, television and so forth, similar to our own daily hectic pace. Psychological development needs phases of being alone. Studies in anthropological psychology show that children cannot develop normally, if they do not experience hours that are completely unstructured and in which they are not exposed to any pressure of expectation. Only here can they be with themselves, entrust themselves to life, enjoy and be free. Children are by nature incredibly good at it. We adults can learn a lot from them. While we may have 2 jobs, 3 children and so many other commitments: we only have one life! And it is worth it, starting to learn about the ancient wisdom of traditional meditation and Yoga, to get out of the rolling hamster wheel, to being mentally fully present and to enjoy life with all your senses.

Our MANDALA testimonial Ranja Weis is one of the most famous yoga teachers for yin yoga in Germany. She is doing yoga for years and lives in Munich with her daughter.