Time Is Not Our Enemy
Tick tock! This image will strike a flutter of panic in most of us. Most of us feel time poor. ‘I’d love to do yoga but I haven’t got the time’ is something I hear a lot. But it’s not really about time is it, it’s about sense of time and values. If it’s important to us we ‘find the time’ after all.
Through our language we see that time, and our sense of it is a fluid concept. We can say we’ve run out of time, yet always have time for a special person. So, here’s an idea, nominate that special person to be you, even if it’s just once a week for a yoga practice.
I consider myself the guardian of time for my students, and I honour this by always starting and finishing on time. I’ve been trusted with 75 precious minutes of a student’s busy day, and the last thing I want to do is deny them a moment of their practice by starting late. This relates to one of the Yamas (Ethical Guidelines set out in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras) Asteya or non stealing. We’d never take an object that isn’t ours, so we shouldn’t take time that hasn’t been given to us. Which is why I also won’t run over, (even if it was for an extra-long savasana), as I would be stealing time from the rest of the day.
I think timekeeping is really important as a yoga teacher. It gives students a chance to take a complete break from checking the time and feeling responsible all of which takes them out of the present moment. Spiritual Teacher and author Ekhart Tolle describes this as ‘Psychological Time’ and it occurs if we dwell on a situation mentally, then we drop out of the present moment. Looking at a clock or watch triggers a chain of thoughts and before we know it yoga has turned into another thing to do, rather than experience.
Ekhart Tolle encourages us to use clock time;
I watched Alice Through the Looking Glass this weekend, what a great film that is. And I loved its powerful messages about time! There are so many great quotes, but here is my favourite
“Time gives before it takes… Every day is a gift, every hour, every second.”
Be on time to a class. Your practice starts as you make your way to the venue, so try not to leave it to the last minute, so you’re rushed and flustered.
Give yourself time, don’t over commit yourself. Be honest about what you can achieve with the time you have.
Take your time. Try to identify moments in your day when you really don’t need to rush, you can slow down.