The quietness through the dawn was invigorating. It was alluring to succumb to an opportunity to get the blood flowing through my muscles, while continuing to enjoy peace; the morning being dark still. I made my way to the Juhu beach, nearby.

My break upon the beach, however, was greeted by a torrent of humanity -varied shapes and sizes in deliberate motion — the serenity of the sea, just a distant backdrop. I decided to accept the inevitable and added one more potbelly to the proceedings.

Once among the equals, the distinct flavors asserted themselves, varyingly expressed:

  • “…Hmm, you’re looking good!”“Been hitting this cool cross-fit centre I found near Lilavati, you too must come aboard…”
  • “…my doctor has mandated at least 40 minutes of exercise a day.” “Try a juice of limbdi and methi daily, it works wonders!”
  • A loud collective guffaw, off a shared joke, from the security of a closely marching group, lost within themselves.
  • Extreme postures of loosening up not easily seen, off the beach.
  • A hip yuppie in a red banyan and red shorts, complete with red sneakers.
  • A fully dressed mullah, with a lush and long beard.

The variety of the beach scene was, however, just a facade. Beneath all the surfaces, the tone of the milieu was decidedly common and serious. X minutes, Y rounds. Mission had to be accomplished.

Most at the beach were there on a mission enforced by a lifetime of conditioned excesses, while others came to set the tone for leading a day full of enforced missions. Excesses of a lifetime of burnout — working hours, responsibilities, greed, peer pressure, escapist intoxicants, pursuit of success and identity — that are surreptitious in their ways, and relentless in conformity to peers and society.

Suddenly, I felt tired looking at the swarm of bodies in advocated action.

Could this ‘mandatory’ walk on the beach also be adding to the totality of the burnout? We are so conditioned to follow the fad and march of life that even an antidote to a burnout seems to be turned upon its head.

So many adherents of fitness regimes walk at the beach or pump up at the gym with military precision. Measuring muscles, targeting the tummy, lifting weights, counting calories — to achieve results, come hell or high water!

Could recreational activities slide over their objective into another channel of burnout? Whenever we are being senselessly pulled and pushed into activities, lured by a mission of success or gain, and unmindful of the harm we are causing to ourselves, we are in the vortex of a burnout.

But, even recreational activities need a rigor to serve their purpose. So, what is that fine line of a crossover to burnout? Could that be listening to your body and mind, while in the flow of recreational activities?

To build your ‘self-awareness quotient’, activities such as yoga and meditation play a substantial role. Include them in your burnout remedies. When — with a self-aware and conscious mindset — we engage in remedial actions to counteract our burnout lifestyle, we are gainfully immersed.

There are also hobbies and activities that we perform spontaneously, that come from the heart. Be sure to count on them, to reduce the quotient of burnout.

At the beach, there were a few spontaneous ones too:

· A young girl building a sandcastle.

· A spontaneous Namaskara to the splendor of the Sun, breaking through the eastern sky.

· A run on the beach by a girl and her dog.

Those actions brought smiles, spreading the inspiration.

So, remember not to let a burnout remedial become a burnout. Bring self-awareness, yoga, meditation and spontaneity into your life. Take the ConsciousLeap.

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