Last night at Candlelight Yoga (8:30 at night - perfect way to unwind before bed) I instated a new rule for myself.
Set up my mat far away from the clock.
I used to practice in the back of studio, right near the clock, so that I always knew how close I was to being done. Moving to the front of the room has been so liberating. I'm always so concentrated on time, and to let go for an hour is a true luxury.
Last night I forgot about the minutes and concentrated on the movements. I had no clock to look at and I positioned myself in a way so that I couldn't really look around the room and compare myself to the other students. So in a way, the rule sort of perpetuated another rule, which is to stop paying so much attention to what everyone else is doing. I was amazed at how much better and smoother my practice was. I left the class feeling limber and lighter.
Lately my stress is eating me alive. Chomp chomp chomp. I spend so much time worrying about not sleeping enough that I am consistently getting less than seven hours. Why can't I just let go and fall asleep?
My first few years here, I was perpetually worried about running out of time. I took cabs everywhere because I was convinced that the subway would take too long. I was always rushing and exasperated and miserable. It wasn't until I was at least 25 that I was able to pinpoint that this bizarre fear was holding me back. I thought I'd really gotten past this phobia but recently it's crept up on me again and I'm figuring out how to fight it.
So much to work on. (I will not follow that sentence with "so little time"!)
One more rule: Don't ridicule your body for what it can't do. Celebrate it for what it can.