Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything Is Accomplished. - Lao Tzu
It’s almost the end of August Yogis, it feels like the year is passing by so quickly! I’m reminded of Dr Seuss;
How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?
Proportional Theory of time says that as we age our perception of time changes, it speeds up. But this is just one aspect; when our attention is divided, busy with several things at once, time seems to pass by much more swiftly. This may be because we pay less attention to the flow of time when we are multi-tasking.
I see students bring this multi-tasking to their yoga practice; arriving flustered, checking emails until the very last moment before class starts and leaping off the mat the moment the session has finished. This busyness is unsustainable. I know, because I’ve been there. The number of people experiencing anxiety is increasing, and it’s caused by living in the future, constantly thinking ahead.
A regular yoga practice is an opportunity to redress this time imbalance. To live in the present and to slow down. Wannabe yogis say they’d love to start a practice, but ‘don’t have the time.’ As Pico Iyer says in The Art of Stillness, Adventures in Going No Where ‘it’s precisely those who are busiest, who most need to give themselves a break.’
Your yoga starts the minute you sign up for a class. See that action as a commitment to take some time for yourself, to move mindfully, bring awareness to your breathing right up until you slowly roll your mat away at the end of the session.
See your practice as a chance to massage and soothe the frazzled body and mind. I often cue students to invite their body into a posture, rather than wrestle themselves into a shape. Take the time to smooth out the fascia and let the body find the form that feels right for it.
There have been periods in my life when savasana was the hardest posture for me, the final relaxation was such a struggle as I saw it as wasting my time. Completely unaware of the multitude of benefits that corpse pose has.
The more yoga I practice, the more I understand the benefits of slowing down. In taking my time, I have learned to identify areas I can relax into, rather than pushing for more. And slowing down actually creates a sense of more time, rather than less. When I’ve been in a posture for a few breaths I used to find myself doing little things to escape the stillness, like looking around the room, thinking about work, or my plans for the weekend. I was missing the beauty of the stillness. There are, of course, still days where my mind wanders, that’s why it’s called a yoga practice, not a yoga perfect.
As we move towards Autumn, where energy levels naturally lower, I invite you to make your own 30 day yoga challenge (not the bikini body one) where you notice the stillness; that pause between inhalation and exhalation, the moment between movement and complete stillness, and I invite you to carry this sense of limitless expansion of time with you, especially when you feel you have the least amount of time.
Bring some Yin to your Yang and check out this free Yin Yoga Sequence