Practice means patience


Most of us are not patient people.

We are always rushing to get somewhere, running around, forgetting things, getting aggravated, always becoming frustrated with the simplest of tasks and yet if we took a second to look back and reflect we would notice we need to take a deep breath, relax, and try to live peacefully in the moment. By nature, we tend to focus on the result not the process. It applies for many of our day to day activities.

If we want results fast with weight loss, we try to rush into crazy diets or exercises. If we want a promotion at work, we rush through paperwork or job tasks to look more efficient. If we want good grades, we sometimes rush through studying for tests.

Whatever the case is, we always want results now.

I remember getting on my mat years ago and thinking to myself “I got this.” I rushed through my warm ups to get into the more difficult poses and I kept repeating to myself “I got this.” Every time I would attempt to get into a more challenging posture I would say “I got this” and it became more and more exhausting as I kept repeating the same process over and over again. I felt defeated, drained, and sore because I didn’t take the time to focus on the smaller things before rushing to the end.

I’ve only been practicing yoga for a few years now but looking back it’s amazing to see how I’ve learned to be patient with myself, my body, and my life and it something you can do too.

One of the things I’ve learned with yoga is you must be patient. I knew my yoga journey would be a long one but with consistency, hard work, and patience I found I have more peace within myself. One of the most humbling things about your yoga practice is you don’t get to decide when and where things happen. Each pose unfolds at its own pace and your body, not your mind, decides when you will be able to master that posture. My best advice I like to give to my students is when you are practicing that more difficult pose, don’t try it 50 times in a row. Do it once every day until it feels right. Just one time a day getting into those more challenging postures, like headstand, will help build up your muscle memory and strengthen not only your muscles for that pose but also your mind. The more you push and force your way into something the less likely it is your body will open and progress. This mindset also goes for day to day activities not just yoga. The more you press something without giving it time to adjust the less likely you’ll see results. Much like the springtime brings in flowers they still need time to sprout, blossom, and bloom and so do you.

This month I ask you to focus on the practice of patience. Working on self-control, tolerance, and restraint. How you approach your practice is how you approach your life. By learning how to be patient when you face a difficult yoga pose that brings up anxiety, frustration, irritation, and or a sense of defeat, you learn how to be patient when life situations trigger those same emotions. The more things bother you the easier it is to react harshly and let the apparent urgency of your personal suffering be the driving force behind your actions. For example, imagine the next time your Starbucks barista makes your drink wrong, try and respond with an understanding smile. Your world will be more peaceful if you take the time to stop and reflect in the moment.

Patience is the decision to wait for the promise of unseen things yet to come. It is the choice to wait out hardships no matter how long it takes with full faith on liberation. Again, don’t stress about the small things, be patient. Good things really do come to those who wait.

Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.

Cassie McIntyre demonstrates a yoga pose that was made possible through practice and patience.
Cassie McIntyre