Lessons in patience. Or, what yoga has to do with flowers.
So you’ve met a guy or gal. You’re excited about them. A connection has been made. Your eyes have gotten slightly glassy and you get a little breathless and a-flutter when they send you a text. You long to unwrap them (immediately) like a Christmas present and discover all their yummy secrets.
However, despite every screaming instinct to the contrary, this is the time to pause and slow down.
I know it’s hard: when I get excited about someone, I am NOT what you’d call a patient person. The new connection is like an intoxicating, young flower that is all wrapped up in its own pretty petals – and I want to pounce on it like a tiger and shred it apart with my hot little claws.
And you know what I get then?
One pretty darn fucked up flower.
Like flowers, relationships need their own time to unfold in order to reach their full expression. No matter how much we’d like to just move forward NOW, we can’t pry them open early without sacrificing their beauty. By cultivating patience, we can give the relationship the space to find its own unique expression. And then if we decide that we dislike this particular flower after all, fair enough. At least then we’re pruning honestly.
Similarly in yoga, we often rush to get to the “full expression” of the asana. Rather than letting the pose open in its own time, we push our way in and shred some petals in the process. This kind of end-gaining may get us there, but generally we’ll also be rigid, overexerted, and strained.
So what if we truly practiced patience in our yoga? Give the pose a month, a year, five years (ten!) to decant. In the yoga sutras, Patanjali suggests that practice is “earnest, sustained effort for a long time.” We show up, we practice, we repeat. Nothing is quick. Pattabhi Jois suggested the same longevity when he said, “Practice – and all is coming.” By slowing down, we give ourselves the opportunity to arrive organically at the heart of the experience. As in relationships and gardening, finding patience will allow our yoga practice’s unique and graceful beauty to be fully – and unexpectedly – revealed.