I often marvel about the number of things I encounter in an average day that relate to my yoga practice and can bring a spark of inspiration for a class theme.

The other morning said inspiration came from a sixty-second radio commercial for insurance. I was driving up to Vermilion to teach a beach yoga class and was listening to the announcer explain the importance of slowing down when you make the important decision of selecting an insurance carrier. She ended the spot with the following tagline:

Slow down – there’s plenty of fast out there.

I’m borrowing that line from Liberty Mutual, because this is one mantra that bears repeating.

How often do you find yourself in a yoga class, rushing from pose to pose? Anticipating the teacher’s next instruction so that—before you’ve allowed yourself to find your breath in one asana—your mind has already jumped off to the next one. We’re so hardwired to rush through our day that sometimes it can be hard to shake off the frenzy in yoga class.

Slow down – there’s plenty of fast out there.

Do yourself a favor and consciously work on slowing down when you practice yoga. Take a moment to settle into an asana, listen to the cues, check to ensure you’re in proper alignment, slow down enough to really notice how you feel, and deliberately move through the postures to the pace of slower breathing that comes naturally when you focus on ujjayi pranayma. Aahhhh, slowing down in yoga class can be a beautiful thing.

Most of our day is spent rushing, so what a refreshing concept it is that in yoga our goal should be to slow down. Yoga is the antithesis to the rest of your stressful day. It gives you an hour of pure bliss and, more importantly, that much-needed time to give your mind the break it deserves.

Don’t worry – there’s plenty of fast out there when you need it. And hopefully the practice of slowing down on your yoga mat is something you can learn to do off the yoga mat as well.