On the Challenges of Patience


Today, for various reasons, all my scheduled appointments got canceled—and, I managed to find out about the cancelations quite early in the day.

All of which meant that for approximately three seconds, I was able to contemplate the heady and intoxicating vista of an absolutely agenda-free Saturday. After the requisite three seconds were over, my inner Nazi kicked in and conjured a backlog of work that I could finally get around to accomplishing.

And that was I how I spent my first free Saturday in, gee, I can’t even remember, spring-cleaning my email (my inbox is now empty), spring-cleaning my house (even a lizard would skid against its gleaming surfaces), and reading a lengthy article by Maty Ezraty on how to do the pick-up and jump-back (a challenging ashtanga yoga vinyasa whose difficulty I’ve addressed to date by avoiding its performance altogether; needless to say, this strategy is not making me any progress—hence the research).

True to form, I’m hardly even present to my accomplishments for today. I got a tremendous amount done in a fairly short span of time, and all I can think about is the fact that I can’t stay in Tolasana long enough to pronounce the word. And it’s this impatience and aggression with regard to achieving results that’s been the biggest obstacle to my yoga practice so far.

What’s strange is that I thought I learned how to deal with this frustration just a few months ago. After several fruitless weeks of struggling to learn Sirsasana (the headstand), I shrugged my metaphysical shoulders in surrender (the physical ones were too exhausted) and simply decided I’d continue to practice without any expectations about the results. Just days after letting go of my attachment, I found myself in the pose. The pick-up and jump-back represents my first major challenge since finally accomplishing the headstand, and just like that, my old attachment to achieving rapid results has quickly reasserted itself.

All of which goes to show that even in the area of patience, more practice is necessary.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

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