Unfolding on the Mat
Expanded Content and Thoughtful Guidance
How much do you love waiting? I don’t mean the fun, anticipatory waiting like for the start of a movie--I mean the finger-drumming, “when’s it going to be time??” waiting. I’ll admit, I’m not a fan. But I’m getting better at it.
In this week’s podcast, I tell a funny story about waiting as a fruit of maturity, and I offer calming breath instruction and mantra help you release your agenda and be open to the timing of the Universe.
We do get better with waiting as we age, but maybe that’s just because we don’t really have to wait much--especially not these days (thank you, Amazon :). Most of us have been around long enough to know that with enough time and right effort, “good things come to those who wait.”
But how about some of that deeper stuff? How do you do with waiting for
These are tougher. This is where we have to exercise that patience muscle.
Or do we? What if instead of requiring fierce determination and great effort, patience was easy and beautiful? What if it were there all along? What if patience were a natural outcome of your yoga practice?
This is how I prefer to think of it.
One of the things I love from my Judeo-Christian background is the Biblical teachings of the Fruits of the Spirit. These fruits are defined as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Anyone keeping score? That’s nine...and yes, I can rattle them off like the alphabet, I love them so much.)
This means they are what naturally happens when you are connected to Spirit more often than not. In the yoga context, when you do your yoga practice (which is not just asana but also meditation, pranayama, and ethical disciplines) consistently, over a long period of time, without interruption, you will become more patient. The idea of waiting for your body to heal will become as natural as breathing. You will have the freedom between stimulus and response to wait for clarity and wisdom. You will identify with the hope within you more than the suffering of waiting.
A dear friend of mine gave me The Book of Qualities, by J. Ruth Gendler. With her words, she paints a picture of different human experiences and gives them a character you can see. Here’s how she describes Patience:
“Patience wears my grandmother’s filigree earrings. She bakes marvelous dark bread. She has beautiful hands. She carries great sacks of peace and purses filled with small treasures. You don’t notice Patience right away in a crowd, but suddenly you see her all at once, and then she is so beautiful you wonder why you never saw her before.”
Awww, she is warm and beautiful and she was there the whole time. We just have to recognize her in the crowd of our experience.
May your daily practice of yoga reveal the beautiful, bread-baking, peaceful fruit of Patience.
Jessica lives, has a family, and teaches yoga in Austin, Texas.