I wish I had found yoga (or it had found me) back when my daughters were little. I think it may have slowed down time a bit. Kept me present once in a while instead of moving mindlessly from task to task, need to need—always looking ahead to the next phase, the next step.
The thing about time is that we think it is much less fluid than it actually is. We think it is fixed purely in increments of hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc…
Time is actually much more elastic than the structure we, as humans, have imposed on it. And it all depends on our awareness. If we are always looking ahead to the next thing on our to-do list (for the day or for life), life seems to fly past us in a blur. That’s how my daughters’ childhood was to me—a fast blur of time. It seemed like I blinked and it was over. Now they are both in college.
The holidays are also apt to pass in a flurry of activity. Our days and weeks are packed with things to do: buy presents, wrap, bake, parties to attend, decorations to set up. If we aren’t careful, the season is over before we know it and we didn’t even enjoy it.
I may not have been fortunate enough to have yoga twenty-two years ago, but I have it now. The practice of showing up to my mat no matter how busy a day is allows me to slow down my body, slow down my breath, slow down my mind.
The more I practice on my mat, the more I am able to carry that mindfulness off the mat and into my life.
It’s like a superpower—slowing down and being present actually slows down time.
I know that the less time I believe I have for yoga, the more I need it. The more I practice, the more time I seem to have. Funny how that works…
Explore your own ability to stretch time by just being fully present to what is happening within and around you.
Next time you are in line at the store take a moment to check in with your body. How does it feel? How do the clothes feel against your skin? The floor beneath your feet?
Stuck in traffic? Notice your breath. Is it shallow or deep? Warm or cool? Does your chest expand with the inhale? How about the low belly? Try to elongate the inhale and exhale, making them equal of length.
If you are baking a batch of cookies, take your time to notice what the ingredients looks like, how they smell, how they feel in your hands. And, of course, how they taste!
Savor the moments this holiday (and everyday) by allowing yourself the luxury of slowing down and just being present to what is.
And here’s a lovely reminder by Danna Faulds:
It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.