Living a peaceful life despite the rollercoaster of emotions involved with each day isn’t that hard, says Douglas Battista. It takes practice, and yoga is one way that we can learn to control our reactions to daily stressors. Here, Battista opens up about the value of this ancient practice for today’s busy professionals.
Q: What does it mean to be in balance?
Douglas Battista: From a yoga perspective, being in balance means that one has the ability to go with the flow and accept that we cannot change things that have already happened.
Q: Other than managing emotions, what can yoga help with?
Douglas Battista: Over time, yoga can help us get back in touch with our inner selves. Physical postures called asanas and breathing practices called pranayamas work to balance the body and mind respectively. Yoga is a relaxation practice that releases tension and encourages us to seek harmony in all we do, from home to work to our relationships with each other.
Q: How is it possible to manage emotions? That’s really tough.
Douglas Battista: It all starts with awareness. Awareness is the main principle of yoga, whether to be aware of one’s thought, surroundings, or emotions. You cannot hope to manage or control your feelings and your internal and external reactions to them until you learn to pay attention to them. It is beneficial to practice awareness throughout the day.
Q: What are some ways to practice awareness?
Douglas Battista: Look for opportunities to stop what you are doing and focus on the moment. Not the work you must do or the text message dinging your phone. Focus on the moment–the sounds, the flow of air, the scents in the air. Listen to yourself breathe and to the voice in your head telling you to slow down.