Why slow living can change your life
Living life in the fast lane? Kanan Thakerar shows you the gateway to slow, restorative, bliss-filled living
Are you feeling stressed, emotional, nearing burnout? I’ve been there! Sadly, it took for me to become seriously ill in 2013 before I decided that enough was enough. Slowing down wasn’t a choice, however, it has become a practice – one that’s completely revolutionised my life.
Luckily for you, the time to slow down is now. The pandemic has forced change upon us, however, we shouldn’t have to wait for something bad to happen in order to reassess and re-evaluate our life and prioritise our health.
Whilst we may feel invincible and taking our foot off the gas seems inconceivable, life in the slow lane doesn’t have to be dull.
What if I told you that by slowing down you could be your best, happiest, most productive, and successful?
Slow living isn’t about missing out, it’s about getting the most out of life. When we slow down, we see and experience more.
I’ve had to learn this the hard way. In 2013, whilst working as a cabin service lead for a major airline I became seriously ill.
Unexpectedly, life as I knew it changed overnight; I went from flying around the world, running a training business, and having a vibrant social life, to barely being able to function.
In the eight months which followed, I went from doctor to doctor looking for answers; yet no one could diagnose me.
Having decided to finally take a holiday thinking that it would be the solution, I found myself struggling to breathe on the flight to India. It then dawned on me: the travel which had become so customary was the root cause.
Upon my return I was diagnosed with Aero-Toxic Syndrome (ATS).
As a result of years of flying, my immune system had been compromised by toxic levels of atomised engine oils and other chemicals; something that doctors said would take years to recover from.
Determined to regain my health, I travelled to New York looking for alternative therapies, and it was here that I was introduced to Nidra, an ancient form of yoga. Unlike most customs, it encompasses no poses or movement. Akin to meditation, Nidra is a set of guided visualisations, designed to transport you into the deepest depths of your subconscious. The resultant outcomes are restoratively effective: unifying mind, body and spirit through what the yogis dub ‘psychic sleep’
Within eight weeks of committing to this slow yogic practice I achieved extraordinary results. My fitness improved, meaning I could walk some distance, I lost weight, and most of all, my mind was clearer. I felt like I’d been given a new lease of life.
I therefore encourage you to follow my lead and pause, be in the moment, take your foot off the pedal, and unwind and reflect.
Join Kanan Thakerar for a series of six weekly sessions in August and let Yoga Nidra unlock the healing power of slow living. Use discount code OMBLISS to get 10% off (kananyogabliss.com)
10 simple tips for slow living
1. Plan your diary and schedule so that you have enough time for everything.
2. Be mindful. Walk slowly, breathe, and focus on each step.
3. Pause and slow down your breathing. If possible, stop between each activity or task during your day, gently close your eyes, breathe in slowly, and then move on to the next activity. This allows the overwhelm that you may feel to release.
4. Eat clean. Write a shopping list and a meal plan, and prepare your meals ahead of time, maybe even do some batch cooking at the weekend.
5. Listen to your favourite piece of music and maybe even dance or sing along.
6. Stay in the present. Each new day is a fresh start. Yesterday’s history and tomorrow’s a mystery.
7. Clean up your space. By decluttering your surroundings you’ll also clear your mind, body and soul.
8. Routine and sleep hygiene. Have a routine and try to get to bed at a similar time every night so that you can try and get enough sleep. Also, make sure to have clean bedsheets and sleep in a dark, cool room. Leave your phone in another room and don’t use it past 7pm every night.
9. Set boundaries. It’s okay to say no if you don’t feel like doing something.
10. Start practicing Yoga Nidra. The benefits of Nidra cannot be understated. One hour of practice is tantamount to four hours of deep, recuperative sleep. It resets and revives the body, strengthening creativity and focus by syncing the logical and creative sides of the brain. I utilise a unique blend of ancient techniques to aid you in delving beyond the material confines of the human psyche. All you have to do is sit back and listen.
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.