A Look at the Increasing Overlap Between Alternative Therapies and Technology
Technology in the 21st Century
In today’s world, people’s lives have certainly improved through advanced technology and the different types of social media. Businesses are growing, the search for employment has become easier, personal identities are being shaped, and fast communication is only a click away. On the other hand, most stress seems to be caused by the overuse of technology—the pressure to multitask, maintain an effective online presence, and keep up with multiple digital devices.
According to research conducted by a Johnson and Wales University student in 2012, he found that the term “technostress” is correlated with technology devices, the stress they cause on users, and how it affects their personal lives.
This notion brings me to a compelling question:
Should technology be used with yoga and other relaxation techniques?
When it comes to health and wellness, more and more products are being developed to assist in the field of yoga and other alternative health therapies. Yoga is practiced to heal the body and mind, releasing stress and any other form of tension, so should we combine the phenomenon “technostress” with a de-stressing technique? Let’s view some options.
New Meditation Teachers: Live Streams, Apps and DVDs
With billions of mobile apps out there, it’s no surprise that there are some for digital yoga lessons and instruction. For instance, iYoga+ provides 30-minute morning and evening lesson plans, along with a wide variety of poses, including Paschimottanasana and Ardha Matsyendrasana.
Suzanne Clores, author of “Meditate Like a Monk with Technology,” believes that today’s technology actually helps yogi’s control their mind through meditation. She also lists several apps and live streams for meditating that will energize or relax you.
High-Tech Yoga Mats
SmartMat: Available for purchase in 2015, this technical yoga mat is said to complement the human ability to read points of balance and equilibrium to achieve the ultimate yoga pose.
Glow Mat: In 2009, Glow Mat was invented by 17 students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Somewhat similar to SmartMat, this device informs you to adjust your alignment based on LED lighting. The sign of red lights mean there is too much pressure and green lights mean the yoga pose is being properly performed.
TERA: This rug-like device can guide practitioners through different poses by built-in sensors and LED lighting.
Although there are people who believe technology can benefit yogi’s, there are others who believe differently. Meghan Keener, happiness and media expert, thinks there should be a balance between the outward and inward life. She lists ways to maintain mindfulness in this digital age—put down your technology device and open a book, step away from your screen and join a social group, and create a sanctuary without digital distractions.
So, should technology be used with yoga and other relaxation techniques? It’s really up to you and your preferred learning style. The new meditation teachers and high-tech yoga mats can serve as assistance and insight for yogi’s who don’t like to practice in public, but may be considered too costly and technologically advanced by others. Whatever your preference, it’s important to remember that through emerging trends, yoga should remain a beneficial exercise that promotes health, peace of mind, and relaxation.