We usually know time from changes in nature. We observe that the earth circles around the sun, and we call it "a year". Then we have the seasons that can be a subtle reminder that time flies. The earth turns around its axis and we call it "one day". To get more precise with time measurements, we invented hours, minutes, seconds, as subdivisions of a day.

But there are particular moments in life when we know time from changes in people. If for some reason, the earth lost contact with the sun then our nature-related time units become meaningless. Only then I imagine we would be able to measure time by looking at the changes in people around us.

There are particular moments that promote time awareness when we look at the changes in people, normally when we return, to our place of birth after being away for some time. You see years in the white hair of a primary school colleague who used to have crow-black hair or in the news that the neighboring house is now empty as the neighbor is no longer alive. You see seasons in the big belly of a pregnant friend who you haven't met for a long time and you see all the days, hours, minutes, and seconds that you have been away from home when you hug your dad and feel the weakness of his body growing old.

In these moments of return, in order to cope with all these changes in people, I try to take my yoga off the mat. I salute the Indian logic of what is not real in the beginning or at the end, is not real in the middle either. You know time was not real prior to the Big Bang when all the matter was condensed in one spot. There was no observer to acknowledge time then! And you know time will cease as well fifteen billion years from now when the universe will come to its end. Then too, no human mind will be there to observe the end of time. As we know from Einstein's relativity, time is depended on the observer: no observer to witness it…….. no time. Therefore, according to the Indian logic, time is not real, it does not exist. Time did not exist at the beginning, will not exist in the end, therefore it cannot be real in the middle either. It is an elusive construction. Time is the child of our minds.

That's why, beyond an open heart, I would say yogis have another super-power which is to dissolve time. Once you dissolve your mind on the mat, time will also vanish with it. At least for a while until your mind returns.

This summer, returning to my hometown, I have tried to see the people I love beyond all their transformations, beyond the passage of time. My pregnant friend will always be my friend although her body and status are changing. My love for my neighbor is still there in my heart although she is not there in her house anymore. My dad will always remain the person who gave me life and taught me how to recognize the good, bad and ugly parts in life, regardless of his wrinkles, weight loss or illnesses.

My friend, my neighbor, my dad, your dad, the crow-black haired colleague, you, me, we are all so real while time is not. Let's enjoy the seasons changing, keep an eye on the watch to be punctual, make the best out of time everyday. But always remember that we are all beyond time.

Copyright Sonja Appel ©

Author's Bio: 

Sonja is the founding director of Sushumna Yoga in Goa, India (sushumna.in), She leads yoga retreats and teacher training courses there and is a writer at sonjaappel.wordpress.com.