“TAKE your time, there is never enough”. I heard those words at the end of a talk I attended recently. It started me thinking. We use “Take your time” often to remind people to relax, slow down, to not stress but what about another interpretation…to TAKE your time…to own it and make the most of it because there is never enough. When most of us begin our yoga journey it starts as a physical practice, an opportunity to develop strength and flexibility in the body. As we develop a true connection to the body, we find insight and connection to the mind as well. First we learn to take our time (slow down and be mindful) and then we learn to truly TAKE our time (be fully present in the moment). Once we find that practice, the opportunity exists for more; a refinement of mindful breath which brings with it a window into to soul. If we both take our time (move slowly and mindfully with the breath) and TAKE our time (commit fully, live presently and truthfully), that is the journey and the practice.
I asked a lot of my students on the mat last week. I asked them to begin to establish the body/mind and breath/soul connection. As we began our Sun Salutations, synching breath and movement began the process of a mindful asana practice . From there, staying present and moving slowly through transitions such as Reverse Warrior into Half Moon allowed us to practice TAKING our time (making the most of it).
We paired together “Take your time” and “TAKE your time” as we practiced Forearm Stand. Forearm Stand requires deep engagement through the shoulders, back, deep core and trunk muscles. To stay in the pose requires stillness, presentness and patience of mind. It asks us to be mindful in our transition from Dolphin Pose to Forearm Stand and to be “all in” (TAKING our time) once we are up. Students played with one leg bent with foot against the wall and bending both knees (pictured above) and we “took our time”.
Yoga is the practice connecting body and breath to mind and spirit; to live mindfully and presently on our mats also can translate off the mat and into our lives. When we can pair “Take your time” (slow down and focus) with “TAKE your time” (live mindfully and presently) we have the chance to connect to our soul…the things that makes us truly happy….. and share that happiness with others.
A mindful transition to Savasana came with a reminder that this is where the true work began, the body was no longer a distraction and the mind did not need to be either. Access to the soul and true happiness was there for the taking. Staying mindfully in the moment was all it took to TAKE your time, own it; make the most of it. It’s yours after-all and there is never enough. Namaste.