I admit it. Somehow, over time, I have become a city-dweller, with what remains of my rural connections tenuous at best, my instincts and lifestyle honed to survive in the urban environment I spend most of my time in. And I am not alone. By 2015 over 50 % of our country’s population will live in cities, and an important threshold will pass quietly, the moment where we become more city than countryside.
But here’s the thing. I like it here in the city, and I think you do too. Well, we love most of it anyway. We love the dynamism, the connectivity, the technology, the lights, the energy and people you have or have yet to meet, Just the sheer possibility of it all… But then there is the downside.
“Go quietly amidst the noise and haste”, the admonition that begins the timeless poem seems to have it right. But how, when there is just so much noise and haste? And don’t forget pollution, or that time when there is no haste but just heavy traffic. To remain calm, let alone keep your mind quiet, in such an environment is a constant battle that eventually ends up negatively manifesting itself in our health, emotions and quality of life – compromising our human potential and making us unhappy. And I am sure we would all like to be as happy as possible.
So, that’s the thing, is it actually possible to be happy in the city? Is it possible to actually counteract the negative things about the city, so that we can fully enjoy the positive? I believe so! Quiet and calm can only start from within and because of the hustle and bustle, the natural busy-ness of the mind (especially for us city-dwellers), it will take practice.
As Urban Yogis, it’s our mission to discover and develop practices that will lead to a lifetime of health, mental fortitude and happiness so that we can reach full human potential, even while living in the city. So, take the time, Urban Yogi, to practice: re-learn how to slow things down, be inspired all over again, embrace being in the now and actually enjoy it … then, take that experience and live a happy life beyond your mat.