Slow and Steady

15.2.09

Infinite patience is the only thing that gets immediate results.

~ A Course in Miracles




Through repetition, the magic is forced to rise.

~ Alchemical Principle




Mastery is achieved through repetition and practice.

~ Amazing Grace, by David Wolfe & Nick Good




Awareness without action is not nearly as powerful as awareness with action

~ Amazing Grace, by David Wolfe & Nick Good



During one of our weekly conferences, with Sharath, he stressed the importance of navigating through the practice slowly and consistently...releasing all ambition. As I took pause, it reminded me of the story regarding the tortoise and the hare. One, slow and steady, the other, fast and furious. Well, we know how the story ends...

In the beginning, it seems only natural to come to the mat with added zest and zeal...for everything is new. However, there comes a time when the newness wares off, the high, if you will, tapers, and then, the real work begins. We must journey through pain, soreness, boredom, apathy, and struggles, while maintaining the daily discipline. Through the highs and lows, it becomes about bringing one back to center, to equanimity, versus merely obsessing about asana. Can I focus on my breath? Can I connect internally as I flow externally with my body? Once we address these questions, the external expressions of the breath, the asana, unfold naturally. Our mind becomes centered. Outer circumstances become less agitating. The power they hold over us lessens.

Slow and steady. Sharath stressed the importance of committing to the practice for the long term. I loved how he stated that we aren't yogis yet, we are merely yoga practitioners. So true. For, when a yogi, there are years, upon years of solid experiential practice and study behind us. Truly, I'm only at the very beginning of this fascinating journey that never ceases to astound and challenge, in a way, that is beyond words...because it is simply about the daily practice. As our awareness deepens the essence of yoga fills our being and manifests into our daily lives. Can I stay present while washing the dishes? Can I find peace in times of struggle and turmoil? Questions that become apparent off the yoga mat.

I've found that when I slow down, things have a way of speeding up...magically. Instances where I've accepted the fact a certain asana possibly won't happen in this life, I've continued to show up daily...bringing it back to my breath...back to the present moment. Slow and steady. To then, as if by Grace, lift up or enter into an asana as if I've had it all along. Strange and fascinating how that happens.

In a world where instant gratification reigns supreme. Isn't it is wise we take pause from time to time? Checking in. Centering and listening to our higher calling. In a crazy, fast paced world, it is even more essential that we do so.

The Truth of who we are will never be found on the outside, even though we may be pulled in a million directions. Unplug to plug inward. Slow down. Practice. It becomes that simple. There is no destination point. There is only here. There is only now.

Moving forward, I will take what Sharath says to heart. If I am to commit to the practice for a lifetime there is really no need to rush. I'd rather become a connoisseur of each movement instead of merely skimming the surface. And, like my dear friend Tiffany says..."If I'm not gonna go deep, then what's the point."

True that, girlfriend. True that.

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