The One Second Rule
Updated: Apr 5, 2019
In a matter of a second, we made the One Second Rule.
Teaching yoga to a boys' baseball team in California - many of them new - what I so often observe in the group in the tendency to react towards the body...
Instead of respond.
"OH MY GOD IT HURTS!" many of them yell, allowing the noise of the mind to take over the silent voice of the body when exploring a new pose.
"My challenge for everyone next class," I heard myself say by the end of yesterday's session, "Is to see if you can insert a 1-second pause between your experience and your response to that experience."
"Is that a challenge!?" one of them reacted.
"I think it is!" was my cheeky response.
You see, it's in that gap - however small or large - we create space to transform our experiences from moving outwards, to inwards. Much of yoga is a silent, internal dialogue, putting the body in the driver's seat, guiding us to where we might be needing more attention in our day to day living.
It's just a matter of listening.
"During the practices of asanas [poses], it is the body alone which should be active while the brain should remain passive, watchful and alert," says B.K.S. Iyengar, yogi and author of Light on Yoga.
"If they are done with the brain, then you will not be able to see your own mistakes."
In a society so focused on intellectual capability, what I fear is that many of us are becoming identified with our experiences, as opposed to remaining a witness overall.
This is what I mean.
In the English language we state, "I am hungry." However, in French, it is said, "I have hunger." The same goes for age. "I am 67," vs. "I have 67 years."
Let's use the hunger example. In stating I "have" hunger versus I "am" hunger, what we notice is a distance between ourselves and the hunger... possibly saving us from many hangry episodes in the future!
Are you hungry, or is your body experiencing hunger?
In explaining this concept to the team, what they said as some feedback is that they feel more empowered in this headspace to be more in control of their reactions - or responses - all in all.
And to think...
It only took 1-second!