Most things I do daily like brushing, stretching, bathing, walking around the house in the morning, opening the refrigerator, even eating happen on autopilot. It’s almost a dreamlike state because in that moment I am simply not ‘there’ in my own life. A research that I once read said an average person is in autopilot mode 47% of the time. No wonder then that in this hyper connected world I sleepwalk through almost half my awake time!

In the wake of this very autopilot mode, comes a thing such as mindfulness. What is mindfulness then? Bringing and keeping one’s attention to the experiences I am having in this very moment, an awareness of my thoughts, my feelings, my bodily sensations and voices and the environment I am in. But with over 60,000 thousand thoughts a day – and maybe more for a Certified Overthinking Officer (COO – no surprise that an elite-sounding designation is totally up my alley) how do I actually do it?

Did I come away with a definitive answer? I’m not sure. What I did come back with was that I ought to ‘indulge’ in Paschimottanasana to get in touch with the me within. Paschimottanasana is the Seated Forward Bend Asana or the Intense Dorsal Stretch Asana.

Like someone once told me, at any given point in time, at least a thousand tabs are open in her mind. It’s not too different for me. No wonder then that the processor is always overworked and slow. I’ve sought self-help videos on Youtube about sitting in silence, focusing on my breath and even listened to soothing chants which put me to sleep.  They are pretty effective on a good day. But, on a not-so-good day? With that search for an anchor, a focal point and a quest for something beyond me I addressed it to my Yoga Instructor (Yeah, the same no-nonsense disciplinarian) in one of my not-so-grueling yoga sessions. Did I come away with a definitive answer? I’m not sure. What I did come back with was that I ought to ‘indulge’ in Paschimottanasana to get in touch with the me within. Paschimottanasana is the Seated Forward Bend Asana or the Intense Dorsal Stretch Asana.

A few minutes of practicing it daily at the end of an exhausting day filled with thoughts led me to the eradication of every single thought from the outside world. In fact, so intense was the stretch that I organically moved inwards – devoid of thoughts, all I was focused on was my spine, the intense stretch, my knees and hamstrings, my hands and elbows. There was a slow yet gradual effort to push my head to touch my knees. All those stubborn tabs which wouldn’t close easily, all gone. *Poof*. I felt light and yet full of energy as if my power was coming back to me. The thoughts were gone and now that I’d managed to get my focus inside it was time to reset myself energetically.


  • Shreya Shah

    Yoga Enthusiast, Dreamer, Do-Gooder

    Arty, a creative opportunist, visual communicator, illustrator, user experience amateur, fussy traveler, closet writer, believer and compulsive good-finder. Extra fresh white linens, expansive trees which give a lot of shade, humongous green spaces, long leisurely walks at dawn, pink sunsets, fragrant thoughts, flashy red nail paint, hour-long pedicures & massages, puns & witticisms, that can't-move-my-body feeling after a grueling session of yoga, mint-flavoured green tea, cold coffee topped with chocolate powder, a big bear hug from My Mahatria - these are a few of my favourite things.