Patience 101 on the Mat

When I went through teacher training, we talked about the patience.  Learning about the different kinds of patience helped me become more observant of my own actions both on and off the mat. Never have I been someone that would be coined as a ridiculously patient person when it comes to my own personal goals, so the idea of learning more about how to do that was intriguing. After becoming a teacher I realized how important it was to demonstrate patience for both the students and myself.

After living in Chicago for over a decade, I feel like I became accustomed to the fast paced society. I liken it to the understanding of time in Chicago typically is much like the “New York Minute.” Everything in my life there was fast. Traffic was crazy, meetings were intense, and dinners with friends were quick and abbreviated. Even yoga classes, the one thing that truly is supposed to help you slow down, relax, and breathe ended up being fast; often I would have students leave class right before savasana started.

One reason I wanted to move back home had much to do with wanting to leave that lifestyle. I started practicing yoga to try and slow down; then I became an instructor to teach other people how. Needless to say, I went to a yoga class this weekend that reminded me of all of this. In 7 day period I had taken six classes and for the last one I decided to treat myself to 90 minutes. Am I the only person that finds it odd to center while sitting up? This was the beginning of my lesson on inviting patience back into my life, no joke.

There I sat on my bolster, which might I add I struggle with. I love blocks; bolsters not so much when it comes to sitting. Why not go on your back or in child's pose for this? There I sat. Fifteen minutes later we started to move. Fifty minutes in we were in our first downdog. I was still struggling at this point as to what was happening and yet I still had at least another forty minutes to go. I was so intrigued to take this class because it said that that it was a heated, slow flow so I had in my head that we were going to be holding the poses for 45+ seconds. I still had not felt the heat and I am pretty sure we were holding the poses for minutes on end.

Ten minutes left and I was suddenly tasting victory. I didn’t think I was capable of taking this class again as I didn’t notice a benefit at all in my body after all of that time. Savasana happened. Three minutes later I woke up to be guided out. I managed to fall out for only a few, but that was the point, I actually managed to empty out all of that monkey chatter in my head.

I’ve practiced thousands of times, and no practice is ever the same. Never have I had a practice like that though where I lost the opportunity to let go so much that I allowed ego to take over. For me ego involves speed, intensity, and immediate gratification. This class got the best of me but I walked away a better person for going. 

Light + Love, 


Maria PannoComment