Routine or the usual are things we use in life as a way to shut our brain down.... not make it work. We are not having to make any new neural connections, it is easy, you have trained your brain to do this... we don't need to think about it. Therefore auto pilot takes over, your brain gets a break, and you can coast through time.
Now don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for auto pilot. Think cleaning... cleaning can actually be a form of meditation, or auto pilot. A time to give you a brain a mindful break. You don't have to think about how to wipe down the counter, to vacuum the carpet to to sweep the floor. You don't have to think about how to take the clothes from the dryer and fold them into neat little piles (which get knocked over within seconds at my house because... kids).
This is one reason why we do lean toward the familiar. It is easy to grab a snack and drink, sit down on the couch and binge your latest show... we see this as a way to take care of ourselves, our brains don't have to work. We are relaxing.
Dopamine looks a little bit lit this:
Now... how do we get dopamine flowing in our brain? How do we break up that routine in life that we often find ourselves in? We try something NEW.
I needed a little dopamine... and One way I found...... Goat yoga.
KISS this.... (keep it simple stupid). It is exactly what it sounds like especially if you invert the words and add with... yoga with goats.
This week I needed to break up my routine, I needed to practice what I preach and do a little self care.... find a little dopamine. I texted some of my friends (who were all in) made the reservation so we would all actually show up and not end up in our normal routines.... and we made our way south of the city on an extremely hot Wednesday night for a relaxing dose of hilarity.
Now I experienced many benefits during my night at goat yoga:
- Dopamine rush- something new? Right?
- Fellowship. I was with my friends. Enough said. We'll do another post someday on the benefits of community.
- Laughter.... go ahead. I dare you to not laugh while goats doing their goat thing while you are trying* to do yoga.
- Being outside.... oh there is something to say about being in nature (think farm)
- The physical benefit of yoga. Believe it or not, between all the laughter and selfies being taken one of benefits of goat yoga is actually doing yoga
- Detox.. it was like a sauna... I think the car said it was 96 degrees when I arrived... (it was worth the heat)... I might change the name to Hot Goat Yoga.
- Lightheartedness.. You just can't take yourself seriously when there is a goat standing on top of you.
- Time slows down... I looked at my watch when I thought the hour was up, and it had only been 22 minutes. When you do something new, get that dopamine rush, you gain the ever important minute. Time slows down, you are out of that brain that doesn't have to work, and time actually feels as if time slows down. (Think how quickly 3 hours of binging House of Cards, Big Bang Theory or Game of Thrones flies by)
Now I am not saying that you should all rush down to goat yoga... maybe it is not your thing. Maybe farms and tiny pooping animals that climb on you while trying to eat your clothes makes you want to run into the city and find the nearest shower, but I would say- When is the last time you did something for the first time? Find your new, find your whimsy and bring your friends. So much good can come from simply trying something new, and letting your brain, your body and your heart reap the benefits.
A big shout out to Goat Yoga Nashville for the amazing ab workout from all of the laughing.