Many people think that yoga is all about touching your toes. Although yoga makes you flexible, the main goal of yoga is not about touching your toes. As Jigar Gor once said, “It’s what you learn on your way down.”
In reality, it can take years to be able to touch your toes or to do the splits. So over time, yoga begins to teach us things about ourselves.
One of these lessons is around patience. When we are impatient, we often race ahead to the next thing. And we stop appreciating all of the beautiful things that are happening right now. We forget that, in fact, the present moment is what we have. Impatience stops us from enjoying that moment.
So when we can’t touch our toes or when we are holding a pose for what seems like an eternity (those of you who come to my yoga classes in Rugby know that I love a long hold in utkatasana!), we practice being patient. We learn not to stop in the process or to force it… We learn to just look with open eyes and observe we are at.
It teaches us to accept the reality that it isn’t happening today and move on with the full belief that when it’s meant to happen it will. So next time you practise yoga, I invite you to notice when impatience arises, and observe it without judgment.
By practicing this patience on the mat, we become calmer and more able to handle moments when life off the mat seems too intense, slow or difficult.