Technology has the potential to increase stress. In the last twenty years, the majority of people in the developed world have reached a state of “constant connectedness” whereby anyone with a mobile phone can communicate with anyone else with a mobile phone, almost anywhere in the world and at any time.
Email is no longer restricted to offices and homes; with the mobile internet, you can get your email while sitting on a park bench or reclining on a tropical beach. So, as opposed to finding opportunities to be connected, we need to find opportunities to be disconnected.
At ESL, we offer programmes that encourage you to do exactly that – to disconnect.
Yoga encourages you to focus on yourself as opposed to the maelstrom of distractions that the world throws at you; the ancient Asian art concentrates on the present as opposed to the past or future. Your smartphone is filled with the past, in the form of photos and messages, and the future in the form of diaries and reminders. When you block out the distractions that come from within and without, you can be truly awake. Yoga has the added benefit of making your body more flexible and powerful, which adds to your personal wellbeing.
We believe that yoga fits perfectly with a language study trip, whether as an activity that you do alongside the study or as a core part of the programme. Our Language plus Yoga programmes balance challenging education in the classroom with regular yoga sessions.
Relaxation leads to improved focus on the language you are learning. At present, we offer Language plus Yoga courses in India, Australia and the USA.
Besides yoga, we have other programmes that encourage you to clear your mind and focus on the present, including Language plus Sport courses in dozens of locations. Anyone who has been skiing or snowboarding in fresh powder knows just how immersive the experience is, much like surfing: another activity where you are free of outside distractions. There is no space for a mobile phone in a wetsuit!
Free your mind and the rest will follow
Much like the activities mentioned, learning a language in immersion in an intense and rewarding experience. When you are communicating in the language that you are learning, living in a foreign culture, you can leave the distractions of your “real” life behind. Combine a language study trip with a complimentary activity and, while we can’t guarantee you will achieve a higher state of consciousness, you will certainly have a beneficial experience.
What is your favourite way to clear your head when you need to think? Let us know in the comments.