It’s easy to take being born into a democracy for granted. We tend to forget our social responsibilities. The greatest example of this is in the voting booth. Even though we witnessed a record turnout in 2016, nearly 40 percent of American adults did not cast a ballot. The most foundational aspect of participation in a democracy is voting, yet nearly two out of every five Americans chose not to do so.
There are many layers of responsibility we need to engage in on a regular basis. Another example is driving. When we acquire a driver’s license, we are effectively signing a social contract that we’ll practice caution on the road. Yet too many Americans fail this test: 64 percent of all accidents involve a cell phone. Twenty-five percent of all car accidents are the result of texting while driving. Nine people die every day due to completely avoidable circumstances.
Social responsibility goes beyond recycling, supporting environmental efforts, voting and driving safely. It’s how we navigate space with one another, how we treat one another on the street, in places of business and online. (Ever see someone completely ignore the cashier or waiter because their eyes are glued to their phone screen?) Responsibility begins with how we treat each other. The age-old religious adage, offered in many texts around the planet, deals with “treating others as you would treat yourself.” If you’re concerned with your own life and well-being, extending that to others is essential. Not only does it inspire others to do the same, but it results in an inner satisfaction that, in the long run, is rich and gratifying. It’s simply being a good human being.
But treating others as you would treat yourself implies that we treat our own bodies and minds with respect, kindness and love. As it turns out, many of us do not. We practice negative self-talk, and sometimes, we push our bodies to the brink, without taking time to rest and recover.
Though I’ve been making playlists for 24 Life for three years now, this collection is different than the others. Regeneration is an essential component of yoga, but I also teach studio cycling, ViPR, abdominal and kettlebell classes. In these high-intensity formats a number of students prefer to not stretch, breathe and cool down afterwards. This is dangerous, both in the moment and long-term.
If your workout is only about intensity and not practices like stretching, fascial release, meditation and yoga, you’re only partaking in half of a proper fitness program. Weight loading and cardiovascular training needs to be complemented by down-regulation practices. Not only will you feel better and recover quicker, your high-intensity workouts will improve as well.
So for this playlist I’ve collected my favorite savasana songs, the chill-out pose in yoga class. There are no beats or loud instrumentation. Some tracks are classical, others purely ambient, but all are guaranteed to relax you. I have dozens of playlists on this site for fueling your workout. This is for downtime. As a bonus, it makes for a perfect soundtrack for work as well.
Photo credit: Jetta Productions, Stocksy