Time is such an interesting concept and one which we universally adhere to in our calendars for meet ups, events, getting work, work meetings and deadlines, for lesson/class lengths so teachers know how long they have to deliver their subject and students know when to go to their next lesson etc.
This is no different when it comes to movement classes, so when the clock in my studio started running slow and students commented on it, I took the clock away to replace the battery.
The next few lessons run without the clock on the wall and it was delightful when at the end of one of my intuitive Pilates classes a client announced “I found it liberating not to be distracted by the clock. My job is so time constrained and time focused that it was nice not to have to think about time and just be with myself, in the moment, in the movement and really move into a state of meditation focusing on what I could feel through my body as I did the exercises.”
It was so refreshing to hear this that I decided to keep the clock out of the studio and even took it out of my equipment studio, where a private client said “It’s so nice not to have the sound of the clock ticking as I don’t have to look up to see how much time I have left in my lesson. I can just focus on what I’m doing on the machines”.
It’s interesting how we don’t realise how much pressure and anxiety we add to our lives with this constant clock watching. Now watches are smart watches so they become mobile phones, heart rate and “fitness” monitors. I often see clients checking their smart watches during class – are they checking the time? their text/WhatsApp messages? social media notifications? heart rates; calorie burning? I used to be obsessed with my Fitbit until the strap broke and I never replaced it. At first it was awful, I couldn’t check how many steps I’d walked, how my heart rate was or how many calories I burned; but I soon realised how much energy that constant checking took up. I’m so happy that I never replaced it.
Do we really need to constantly check up on what’s going on outside of our given activity? Can we not even give ourselves one hour where time does not matter? Where digital media in whatever format just does not matter.
Isn’t it time to reclaim our autonomy and be in control of our own self? to be more focused on ourself, on what is going on inside us – how and what we are feeling and sensing through our movement, how moving your big toe can impact your hip joint, your spine, your shoulder for example. How we carry our emotion and how this impacts pain and perhaps through self-awareness, through understanding our self-organisation we can help to reduce the pain we feel so we can move with greater ease and freedom.
Why not take time to ditch your watch, your phone just for an hour a day, so you can really take that time to just “be”. I’m going to experiment with this and try to give up my digital media for a day or at least half a day on Sundays to really get a break from it all. It’s hard though when you are running a business to be free of it as the temptation to check on emails and messages is so strong, as well as the sense of pressure to post on social media to keep up with competitors. However, this is a goal that I am going to work on so that on just one day a week, I don’t feel that insane pressure that we all feel in this modern digital age.