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Switch it Off – Issue 41

yoga mobile

Escape the madness of the mobile phone. By Lexie Williamson

I’m addicted to checking my mobile phone. I’m aware it’s ridiculous; I’m not the boss of a multinational corporation. The stock price will not plummet if I miss a text or email. I’ve managed perfectly well mobile-less for half my life with no need to capture every move on Instagram or log what I ‘like’ on Facebook. I travelled around Central America solo for nine months with only two calls home.

A few decades later, I’m chained to my phone and computer. I feel my fingers twitching to check, and if contacted, sense a pressure to respond immediately. I know I’m not alone. The other day I saw an entire family – dad, mum, child one and child two – sitting in a row, shoulder to shoulder, texting. They were millimetres away from each other, yet in their own universes. I’ve witnessed couples texting at dinner whilst facing each other.

The problem arises when its time to switch off my phone. My brain is full. The cumulative effect of texting, emailing, searching and checking, has created an abundance of mind spam. My mental inbox is groaning. It takes longer to unwind and sleep is light and intermittent. My monkey mind is still jittery, leaping nervously from thought to thought.

Yoga helps. A yoga class is one of the few places left safe from temptation. ‘Mobile phones off’ is the standard instruction, and thank God. There is a palpable sense of relief amongst students as they slide phones to ‘off’ and collapse, safe in the knowledge they will be unmolested by social media for 75 minutes.

I predict an increase in people turning not just to yoga, but also meditation, as they search for sanctuary. They will reach a point of mind saturation, and want to know how to delete the mind spam, or empty the inbox. They will seek head space.

I too am meditating more. I’m also planning to introduce a strict new rule: ‘only check the mobile between office hours’ (the old-fashioned nine to five). After that it remains mute by the front door. I feel liberated just thinking about it. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘switching off.

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