Time – Lesson From Yoga Practice


When I first started doing yoga, one thing I couldn’t figure out was how the instructors, with no apparent timepiece on their person or any visible clock in the studio, could know when it is the appropriate time to wrap up the class.  Do they just have a really good feel for how long one hour is?I figured out their secret during one class when I set my mat to the far left corner of the studio where I was able to notice a clock deliberately angled away from the rest of the class.

That day I learned to never set my matt where I can see a clock.  Seriously, don’t.


One hour can feel like a long time for a beginner yogi.  What I discovered after three years of regular yoga was that the hour didn’t feel shorter as I improved in my practice; I just stopped caring about time.  This is different from my regular life where I constantly calculate minutes and hours trying to manage the arithmetic problem I call my schedule.  Time is money, good grades, a fit body, and Netflix marathons.  In order to have good times we need to suffer through bad times (for me it’s studying).

I lose this mentality when I practice yoga.  There are no good or bad times; each moment just is what it is.  But when I saw the clock, my mind couldn’t shut up.

“So class started at 8:30 and it is now 8:57.  That leaves 60 – 27 = 33 minutes of class left.  This flow will last approximately 5 more minutes leaving 33 – 5 = 27 minutes left.  In those five minutes we will probably do airplane pose.  That pose usually lasts 5 breathes. One breathe is about 6 seconds.  5*6 = 30 painful seconds. If I can bear those 30 seconds I can make it to the next and final flow which will be an ab workout because we haven’t done abs yet.  I’ll suffer through that and then I’ll enjoy the part when we lay on our backs for 3 minutes.”

Yoga—and life in general—is very difficult with this mentality.  I couldn’t stop thinking about how uncomfortable each second was.  The saddest part is that when I finally reached Savasana, I used it to plan the rest of my day.

There is a lesson in every practice.  I learned to never look at the clock.