It was time for a revolution: I decided not to ride my bike to university

by Anastasia Cojocaru

I started thinking about time and my perception of it one day when I decided not to ride my bike to university. Lately, I felt like I always had to run after something, to become faster and more efficient. It didn’t really matter if it was a deadline for an assignment or just getting to a destination.

Instead, I got to my lectures on foot and I realised that this gives me more freedom of thought. Suddenly it seemed like I had all the time in the world. I couldn’t compare this feeling to the way I feel when I’m cycling: alert and fast. But I don’t have time to think when I’m cycling because everything is passing by me so fast and I always have to be aware of what is going on in the traffic.
However, during a walk the chemistry of the body is changed. The faster pumping of the heart brings more blood and oxygen not only to the muscles but to all organs, the brain being included. Scientists have also proved that if one takes a memory and attention test after exercising, they are likely to perform better.
Going for regular walks helps the brain develop new connections between its cells and prevents the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age. The attention of the person walking is free to wander because you don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking. This mental state is the one that might bring innovative ideas and strokes of insight. When you choose to go for a walk, inspiration is something that will come naturally.
However, walking is not the only way that will help you get a different sense of time. Take yoga: you can make time your friend by practicing it. You will not only work on your posture in regular yoga practice, but you will also be surprised to find out that it improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.
Meditation, as part of yoga practice, will also  teach you to relax and focus on the present. It represents a good way to escape from the daily routine and take a break from the continuous race against time. It will also help you develop the ability to solve problems more efficiently and acquire and recall information better because you learn to be less distracted by thoughts when practicing meditation.
Taking just a ten-minute break every day to stop your flow of thoughts will help you be more aware of your body and mind. Yoga and time management involve finding your own balance. It is very important for the mind and body to release any kind of tensions so your plan for the day should keep them occupied accordingly, but should also leave space for breaks and entertainment.
Take your time to care for yourself by going for regular walks so that your thoughts will flow freely but, at the same time, remember to take breaks from thinking by practicing yoga and you will he on your way to balance.​

Photo: Anastasia Cojocaru

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