Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time, rat race and the yoga perspective

 I read this in the Reader's Digest this month:
 U may win the rat race, but you still remain a rat! 

Last few days, suddenly I had a sense that time -- clock-watching --  can be the most stressful activity there is!

As a rule lately, Saturday afternoon and Sundays, I try not to look at the clock, drift  through these unplanned days, like a leaf afloat  a lazy river. These days though hectic and fun, are always planned. That is very liberating. The problem with being a yoga person is that you can stress yourself out. And I am not joking! I mean, if you allow yourself, you could easily fall apart or become nutty (in a bad way I mean:)

There are lots of that in a yoga teacher's life: super early rising, rigorous and unrelenting practice, some students who can really be tough to deal with, the psychology of student management. If you are stupid enough to suffer from an overdose of integrity and fairness the combination of everything above can just about crush you!On top it, as a yoga teacher, you have to walk about gingerly with a halo that others have affixed around your head. So, you have the crushing responsibility of responding to human provocations with saintly smile that is (still) not so natural to you!! That too can crush you! No wonder most yoga teachers prefer to run commercialised power yoga classes. Or these behenji or retired uncle-aunty or bollywood yoga classes for a pittance/or a prize and have a great line-up of eager students looking for a bargain/name-dropping couture  yoga classes:)  What relaxed lives these teachers must be leading, and what fat pay checks must send them rollicking to the banks:!!:)  But teachers like me, we are expected to revel in our poverty   and in our integrity! So, imagine, what a drag a mad yoga teacher's could well be if you did not watch out!

U rise earlier than the rest of the world. Ideally by then you have to have completed your entire practice. There are yoga teachers who don't practice... but that is their karma. For me, I would be ineffective in class if I had not practiced. So what with early rising, eating sparsely or timing your meal so it won't interfere with your practice, then timing your meal so it won't come too much in the way of your class teaching, and timing even when u apply your moisturiser (yes, that too) so that you don't slip on your mat or in your class (or skip being a woman altogether as often I become:) -- so many things for which you must clock-watch. Even if you sleep late you must set the clock early:  the  clock becomes an abiding deity in a yoga teacher's life. For me, the most rankling thing in my life  has been the need to watch that damned thing, a clock!!

Then I realised  (yes, the yoga teacher's life is also full of such `Aha' moments) it is really the sense of time which rushed me and not the time itself.

I mean,  I realised if I woke up early, then  I did not feel rushed because it starts my day early, and in such control.  If I did not plan the day too much in between those hours when I had to work with the clock, then too I did not feel rushed. Actually if I just became aware of how time was pushing me about, that slowed me down immediately these days. It is as if mentally I am lounging about, but physically revved up. And when the mind is relaxed, the body can do just about anything!!   This was as if I was seeing myself in two different dimensions all at once. So liberating:) That is a real yoga zone for me. And has taken me this long to reach there!!

For me this sort of  morphs into relativity's space time.

.Time is so much an illusion. I mean that. There is a weird disconnect I am having with time nowadays which is very soothing. A five-minute could be wasted in thoughts that had no need, or it could be spent suspended in space, on my head. Strangely, I could earlier tell time when on my head because it would become painful after a few minutes. It was a painful relationship with time, with me either often wishing for time to rev up or slow down, depending on what I was doing! Nowadays I have no sense of that and feel wonderfully freed of that monster, Clock, when I am hanging gently upside down. So this sense of time stopping, it is so relaxing. I don't need to fill up time. I let it be, and I continue being what I want to be. And end up doing a lot more!

To really relax you may watch the clock but disassociate from what that is doing to you (for that u first need to be aware what all bad things it is actually doing to you:) If I  let the sense of time drift off: then I strangely get to do more things!! Even enjoy myself as I do them.

This could well be the first stage of mokhsha, ha!!

Quantum time,  yoga time.

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