One Second and the Tree of Yoga

When I teach a yoga/mindfulness class to First Responders / Military personnel, I love to discuss how practicing mindfulness can give you 1 second. In the civilian world, 1 second may not seem like a big deal, but in the First Responder / Military world, 1 second can be an eternity.

It can mean the difference in:

  • Making a rushed decision or thoughtful decision
  • Acting out of anger or patience
  • Being less reactive or being in tune with the moment
  • Achieving desired results or not
  • The way you decide and direct
  • The way you engage and lead

In The Tree of Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar talks about the same principle in more yogic terms. For example, he mentions the following:

  • …when you are busy working, your life gets dominated by thought and it is hard to have total awareness. When you practice yoga/mindfulness, you learn to be totally aware – you develop awareness in your whole body while you are engaged in action. Then you can become totally aware in all circumstances.
  • A person who practices mindfulness is free from time.
  • The “moment” does not move. In mindfulness, the person who practices mindfulness on a regular basis will not be caught in the movement of moments.
  • The mindful First Responder / Soldier knows how to keep the lines of thoughtless and thoughtful flow parallel and how to remain thoughtfully thoughtless, not thoughtfully thoughtful.


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