THE SECOND PILLAR OF YOGA – RECREATION ( VIHARA IN SANSKRIT )
To regain lost vigor and get a sense of joy, refreshment, and satisfaction you have to have leisure-time activities almost every day. This activities are an essential part of human life and are shaped by everyone’s interest, possibilities, and surroundings.
We all have natural inclinations towards doing some activities with ease and passion. They can be done with others, or on your own. They can be active or passive. These recreational activities give you relief from tension and fatigue created by repetitive work, studies or other life responsibilities. They release stress from your body and create a feeling of detachment in your mind.
Today, good health and happiness are not simply happening on its own anymore. You have to commit to your health and earn it. If you fool around and play games with your health looking for shortcuts or cheap ways to have it that is not working either. If your health is not there for you, it is because you are not there for your health too.
Only by setting up clear intentions on changing your life and changing your attitude you will open up to your fullest potential. Fulfilling your life obligations and doing everything that is requested or expected from you doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed the best life ticket. On the contrary, you will have to invest more of yourself into your health as work, family, social interaction puts lots of pressure on you most of the time leaving you empty.
Taking time to nurture oneself provides a sense of balance and wellbeing. Increases your confidence and self-esteem which can directly reduce anxiety and depression. In order to fully enjoy your leisure time activity, you want to select activities that resonate with you satisfying your physical, mental, emotional and social needs. People who take activities such as walking, hiking, yoga, meditation, have fewer visits to the doctor and manage better everyday stress. Ask yourself, if you do have such restorative fruitful activities?
Recreation carries different meaning to different people and it is applied to a great variety of activities. It is good to remember that smoking, drinking, gambling, TV, texting on your cell phone, playing computer games is not recreation, but some forms of passive negative entertainment. For example, some information received from TV is stimulating the negative thinking, or judgment, preconceived ideas, greediness. It is healthy to select the information we take from TV, especially if you notice that leaves strong impressions in your mind and the information really influences your way of thinking.
There are lots of simple things that you can do to engage in leisure and recreation pursuits on a regular basis. Notice if you have a balance between leisure-time and other obligations such as work, family, friends, study, etc. Do you have weekly recreational activities that establish a routine? Are you committed to what you start to do? Do you have relaxation techniques that work for you? Do you notice how others around you benefit from your health and well being?
Today it is impossible to live a balanced and healthy life without recreational activities. It is proved that when people organize their time and create space for what they love to do as a recreation activity, they live healthier and happier. Take half an hour everyday for active relaxation, walking, playing games, hobbies, creative activities that connect you with positive emotions, laughter, joy, detachment, and contentment.
“If bread is the first necessity of life, recreation is a close second.”
I will continue in the next post with Achara / ROUTINES.
HealthYoga Therapist, Teacher, and Student,