I am late. All the time.
Usually only a couple minutes late, sometimes maybe five. I’ll call if I’m going to get to ten, so at least I seem polite about it. But I am consistently, irrefutably, unarguably late. I’ve been mulling over this habit of mine of late and trying to ferret out its origins.
Here are the top components:
1. The ego: “Oh my goodness, I was just so busy at work that I could hardly tear myself away. I am so stressed out!”
2. The obsessive-compulsive: “I’ll just answer this one last little email…”
3. The masochist: “I’m so sorry,” I cringe. “Sorry, sorry.”
While I’m guilty of all three, the truly insidious revelation is that I’ve simply gotten used to the stress of running late. It’s become ground zero. So now I have been practicing being late. And I’ve gotten really good at it.
In the maelstrom of multi-tasking and escalating technology, stress has become synonymous with productivity and worth.
Despite the fact that stress is literally counter-productive, we still expect others to look haggard if they’re really paying their dues. In this climate, is it any wonder that we expect success and stress to be interdependent?
As a power yoga teacher, I layer stress into my practice. I have this idea that to practice “well” I have to practice “hard.” But in reality, all I’ve been doing is teaching my body how to layer tension onto a perfectly good asana. And when I layer tension, I start to plaster over the intrinsic integrity and grace of the movement with unnecessary effort.
What if practicing yoga was actually ease-full?
Rather than layering on more tension, what if we allowed our body to use its brilliant intrinsic support to move intelligently and efficiently through the asana practice? As one of my teachers said, it’s no longer about kicking our butt; now we have to kick our ego’s butt.
So here’s to the “ease experiment.” Ferret out the little everyday stress triggers in your life and your practice and see how you are unconsciously nurturing them. What is no longer serving you? Then, un-layer your asana. Un-layer your life. Get to your meetings on time.
Take a deep breath…and see what happens.
A total nerd and generally cool chick, Rachel is the Director of Teachers’ College at YYoga, where she helps people to pursue their passion and potential. She manages her ongoing existential astonishment through relentless inquiry and a devilish sense of humor. You can find her here.
Editor: Jamie Morgan
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