As we approach the busy season here in Punta Gorda, I can’t help but be obsessed by this idea we call time. We all have a million expressions for it: “Don’t waste your time,” “It’s about time!” “In the interest of saving time,” and so on. I, myself can’t help but feel that I am “pressed for time” in a world where everything is scheduled. I, too, often hear myself say, “I don’t have the time.”
This is why I and many others enjoy (not to mention need) the practice of yoga. Unlike many other activities that encourage us to multitask, yoga forces us to stay present or at least attempt to stay in tune with our mind and our body for the duration of the practice. For a few brief moments we can forget about that to-do list and ultimately learn what we really need—that is, if we are able to “take the time” to listen and feel what we are being told from within.
Our breath is the vehicle by which we tune in to this inner intelligence. In fact many yogis believe that life is measured by the number of breaths they have left rather than by years. That’s good news for those of us who feel like we are often “living on borrowed time.” As we breathe and as we draw our minds back to our breath (on and off the mat) we get a sense of slowing down this concept of time, and every breath—every moment—becomes important.
We often get a sense in these moments that everything is, and will be, okay, and that we are truly happy. While these moments can sometimes be quick and fleeting, it’s important to note that if we stop and smell the roses—when we are willing to slow down and make ourselves and our well-being a priority—these feelings can be accessed.
While we often think of our yoga in a classroom setting, the real work is done off the mat when we take what we have learned into everyday situations. Instead of those familiar time-related mantras we have grown accustomed to say and hear, let’s turn it around and instead say that we are “right on time,” and that “there’s a time and place for everything.” Let’s remember that “everything is and will be okay,” and that we are exactly where we need to be in the moment. Just like when your yoga instructor cues your mind back to your breath, reel yourself back in and enjoy and learn from the experience.