yoga + patience


Are we there yet!?

These four words were uttered by me many times growing up.  As a kid, I struggled with patience and, admittedly, as an adult, I do too.  I’ve always been a dreamer, a girl with plans.  And although dreams and plans are great, without patience they can be torture!

I’ve been a little ‘missing in action’ on social media and my blog recently and it’s because I’ve been busy dreaming and planning!  You see, as a teacher, my dream is to help you unlock happiness and part of my plan to get you there is by connecting you more deeply with yourself and with those around you.  Because, let’s be honest: happy by yourself is not nearly as much as happy with the ones you love.  **We can save the debate about attachment for another post :)

So, in order to help you connect more deeply with yourself and and with others, I’ve partnered with good friend and fellow yoga teacher, Rachel Vurpillat to bring you Unite Yoga.  We are a yoga events & staffing company that creates yoga experiences that connect people, merge passions and unite body, mind and soul.  We plan to bring you yoga in unpredictable places (like the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center!) and in unexpected ways.

The process of starting a business requires SO much patience.  I find myself constantly asking “are we there yet!?”  So, in order to reign in my eagerness, I’ve devised this recipe for unlocking patience:

  1. Contentment (Santosha) – In order to unlock patience, I’ve realized that I first have to be content with where I am at.  In Sanskrit, contentment translates to Santosha.  It’s important to remember that Santosha, or contentment, doesn’t equate to ‘settling,’ but rather, in this specific context, to trusting that where you’re at in the present moment, is where you’re meant to be.
  2. Reflection – After I’ve found contentment with where I’m at, I need to slow it down.  To be still and get quiet.  To turn inward and listen.  Herein lies the answers: who am I?  what am I doing here?  where am I going?  This clarity is absolutely necessary in order to truly be patient.  If I have no direction, it’s impossible to be patient because I have no idea what I am waiting for.
  3. Hardwork (Tapas) – Once I have a clear direction, it’s time to put in the hard work necessary to move in that direction.  Oftentimes, we think about patience as waiting.  And though, I agree there is some amount of waiting involved in being patient, I’d argue that patience is very clearly not sitting around and waiting, but rather moving confidently and purposefully and then, yes, waiting for the magic to happen.  In Sanskrit, hard work and discipline roughly translates to Tapas (yes, I realize this is a rough translation – we can save the full translation for another post too).
  4. Trust – Finally, I must trust.  We do our best to prepare for something new, but then at some point, we just have to go for it.  If we fail, we simply take our learnings from this attempt and apply them to the next.  Trust that if we take a leap of faith, it will be okay – life always hands us what we need, when we need it.  In essence, this final ingredient leads us back to contentment and the cycle begins again.

So, I reiterate, patience is not just sitting idly and waiting for something to happen.  I believe it is far more complex than that – probably why so many of us identify as impatient human beings.  It requires contentment, reflection, hardwork and trust.  Lately, I have found myself immersed in a steady diet of these ingredients.  And, even still, I find myself asking “are we there yet!?”  I’m not perfect.  I’ll probably always be over-eager.  But, if I can just be aware, reign it in and cultivate some sense of patience, I am confident that I can use this tenacity effectively.

I hope this recipe helps you stew up some patience on the mat and maybe off the mat too.