Yogi Assignment: Patience
I am not a naturally patient person. Most likely that’s because my mind moves at super fast speeds processing different potentialities and buzzing with new ideas. Yoga has taught me patience, but I still don’t much like the waiting game.
I am all too human sometimes. I get attached to things working out how I want and I get upset by things not going as planned. This doesn’t make me less of a yogi. This makes me a real person practicing yoga. I haven’t gotten back on my mat every day for 20 years because I’ve been trying to perfect a pose or make a shape. I return to my practice because it helps me feel my inherent wholeness, because it teaches me new life skills (like patience), and because it tunes my mind in to the eternal presence of the Divine.
Challenging poses are amazing mirrors of our deepest darkness. How you respond to adversity tests the mettle of your soul. Do you fight back and claw at anything you feel threatened by? Do you try and desperately hold to things that don’t flow? Or do you cultivate an attitude or surrender and learn to let things go when they’ve run their course? These questions are at the heart of the journey of yoga. It’s not about the pose, it’s about what you learn as a human being, as a spirit, on the path of practice.
This week’s Yogi Assignment is Patience. When you feel your hip isn’t open, practice being patient. Don’t quit on the process of opening your hip, but don’t force it or get mad it because it isn’t open. Just look with open eyes and observe that your hips aren’t open. When you try repeatedly and unsuccessfully to press up into handstand, practice being patient. Don’t give up, accept the reality that it isn’t happening today and move on with the full faith that when it’s meant to happen it will.
Take that lesson into your life: when you feel totally stuck in a difficult situation, backed into a corner with no options, practice patience. A solution will come, eventually, it always does. Meanwhile, worrying or stressing or forcing or fighting won’t solve and unsolvable problem. Be patient and wait for the way forward to be revealed. When someone you love dearly engages in destructive behavior that they enjoy (it could be something like smoking or drinking), lovingly state your case and then let them go, be patient. Wait for them to wake up to the truth, but don’t fight or force them. If you’ve ever tried to force someone to give up an addiction before you how impossible that is until the person is actually ready themselves. Finally, be patient with yourself as you stumble and fall through life. You’re not perfect, you’re human. Accept it and love it and be kind and gentle with yourself at every turn because r ally we can only ever treat others as we treat ourselves.