Warm your heart with the softness of a loving thought for billions of years of peace, prosperity and bliss for our children's children. Praise and bless them as peaceful, loving and evolved beings who live in an enlightened and sustainable society. This loving thought will make it so!
We live in a culture that vibrates at a higher frequency than our ancestors did: emails, cell phones, fast cars, fast food, electrical wires, etc. This vibration causes stress to our beings. Our ancestors stress was usually immediate, and would subside once the threat was gone. Not today. We live in chronic stress. And then on top of that, we have other stressors: job, relationship, family, things to accomplish (even preparing for yoga teacher training!) Our bodies perceive all this incoming stress as life threatening. The body's reaction to stress is to secrete hormones from the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, (adrenaline and noradrenaline), engaging the autonomic nervous system into the flight or fight response by the body. As a result, the heart rate, blood pressure, mental alertness, and muscle tension are increased. Systems that are not necessary, including digestion, elimination, growth, reproduction and repair, are shut down. Thus the body's capacity to heal itself is compromised and new ailments occur including high blood pressure, ulcers, back pain, immune dysfunction, reproductive problems, emotional disturbances (anxiety/depression/insomnia).
I believe in Yoga as a sustainable practice, meaning, we can age MUCH more gracefully, with less dis-ease, than our culture is doing currently. I personally would like to feel good practicing yoga well into my 80's, 90's, beyond? That is sustainability to me. Other traditional aging cultures, (heck our own culture 100 years ago!), are not wearing diapers, are not on 5 different medications, are not living out of touch with nature and family, are doing some sort of physical activity on a daily basis (not TV!!)
So, my short and sweet recommendations to us all are to take many pausing minutes out of the day (in front of the computer, while on hold, at the stop light, etc) and be present. It is a simple request, not so simple to do, especially when we have learned to stack functions so well. But that just keeps us plugged into the caffeinated vibe of the present fast-moving culture. We can unplug, many times a day, with just these sweet pauses of being present and finding your breath. Taking a deep breath will bring you immediately into your body, which might inform you of a necessary posture shift. Taking a deep breath will bring you present, drawing your full awareness into the now. Taking a deep breath will communicate to your nervous/circulatory/endocrine systems to slow down, and restore. If you can take a 10-20 minute break each day, I do not recommend always doing some physical yoga, instead, mix it up with a supported restorative pose with deep breathing or shavasana, the traditional corpse deep relaxation pose.
As yogis, we know we are all interconnected. If individually we can start to slow our own pulse, then hopefully collectively we can start to slow down the pulse of our planet.