Feb 062013

Sometimes I am impatient in my yoga practise. Many times I am impatient in traffic. Frequently I am impatient and find myself wanting to finish peoples sentences. Often I am impatient in learning a new task, working through difficulties in a relationship and wanting others to understand my point of view.

The art of patience has been under rated in our society. Patience is defined as a state of endurance under difficult circumstance, a means of preserving in the face of provocation,without activating annoyance or anger in a negative way.

Through my yoga practise my body has taught my mind to experience patience both on the mat (my physical yoga practise) and off the mat (my living in the world).

Here are the five “A”‘s of patience:

  1. Adjust to balance conflicting needs against obstacles in the environment. On the mat my obstacle may be “gee I am tired today”. Maybe I could adjust my practise and do less. Off the mat my obstacle may be “my husband doesn’t understand me.” Maybe I could adjust my needs and listen to him more.
  2. Accommodate is changing existing mental structures of attitude, behaviour, reaction and deed to open oneself to new experiences. On the mat my reaction to a new pose creates fear. Maybe I could accommodate this attitude by trying it anyway. Off the mat “my friend chatters a lot. ” maybe I could accommodate my attitude and let it flow through me.
  3. Adaptation is an evolutionary process whereby one becomes better suited to the habitat. On the mat I commit to attend yoga classes regularly even when my brain doesn’t want to be there. Off the mat “my daughter isn’t doing what I want her to do” Maybe I could adapt to her thinking and empathize and understand her way of processing life.
  4. Acceptance is a favorable reception, an agreement that is. On the mat I am aware of my past injuries and honor my limitations. Off the mat “my wife’s hearing is deteriorating and she never responds to my questions” Maybe I could realize “it is what it is ” and I need to ensure I speak clearly and directly to her.
  5. Alignment is producing a better orientation, creating a solid structure, building a trustful environment and developing authenticity. On the mat I watch my body become strong, my mind quieter and my muscle less sore. Off the mat I experience a letting go, a surrender to others, a union of kindness,compassion and love.

Many Luminaries have talked about patience:

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will the mirror be polished” Rumi 

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow.” Saint Augustine

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs , and they will be powerless to vex your mind.” Leonardo de Vinci. 

Lastly a mantra, is a set of words said over and over again to give one peace and courage.

May I have the patience to truly listen to those around me
May I have the patience to truly see the wonders of the world
May I have the patience to hear the song of my heart. 

I would be honored if you would come and sit patiently with me in our yoga practise. See you soon.

Namaste. May the patience in me salute the patience in you!


My third eye shines in the tree – 600 am sunrise at Haleakala crater Mauii – Barbara Crompton – 2012

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