It’s true that the body has a very intelligent detoxification system built right inside us. But it’s also true that our bodies aren’t always up to the challenges we modern human beings throw its way. Our lifestyle exposes us to an increasingly complex environment, situations and emotions, so that detoxification systems must work overtime just to process the toxins we encounter everyday. It’s also true that January is when people start buying juicers and detox books! After Christmas and New Year are over and the reality kicks in, we know we need a proper cleanse.
Check yoga and fitness studios around you, you will notice that each of them is writing about cleanse or detox. Which is great as this is what our bodies need post Christmas food explosion. However as I was writing my detox programme, it stroke me that we forget about one of the biggest toxins polluting our body and mind: phones!
Yes, owning the newest smartphone makes it more convenient, and yes it makes life easier! Period! You can keep in touch with people who matter and communicate with them regularly. It also occupies your mind when you are queuing in a shop, traffic, commuting and in general waiting and having to be patient and still. But do you even know how to be bored these days? Boredom can be a very creative place as this is the time when your mind can wander and create!
The richness of communication channels, ways to advance your learning and exploring via your phone is so immense it almost lefts as partially everywhere and fully nowhere. It puts on us the pressure and constant fear of 'missing out’. I often scroll Instagram at 11pm telling Phil that this is my way of checking what’s new in the world of yoga. I travel with all my friends to distant lands and studios, eat great food, do yoga but as a side effect I deprive myself from my precious sleep. Various studies have shown that smartphones have detrimental effect on your sleep and concentration. How can you sleep when your brain is trying to process all the pictures and information you’ve just accumulated.
How often do you spend you holiday searching for wifi rather than observing and enjoying the moment? Or instead of listening to your partner’s story you scroll your Facebook. With technology where you can search any topic, google became a conversation killer. You no longer ask ‘how does this work’, you just go and google it rather than engaging in a conversation. Which is partially great as all this knowledge is as far as one click but it makes you more detached from your physical surroundings. As yoga teacher (and a yogi) I have spent years observing people’s postures. We are gradually moving from looking forward into people's eyes, to looking downward into our phone screens. This not only messes up the alignments of the spine vs. the head and closes the chest but also builds a barrier between other human beings, discouraging people to connect.
Ownership of a smartphone doesn’t make you a better or worse person. The act of numbing yourself and login out of life because it’s boring, painful or disappointing is something we all do regardless of technology. You are the very person responsible for your own actions and life. How about approaching your detox this year by adding a little technology detox.