Yogi and the Hare
I am not a patient person. This is an admission that would surprise people who know that I practice yoga, one of the most patient forms of exercise. I am impatient, though, and I show it in some very strange ways.
This is my morning routine, repeated with some variations depending on the day:
I wake up. This happens, on average, two to three hours before my wife does. When it happens, my mind wakes up pretty quickly. It’s keen and ready to work on the list that it’s been prepping all night. My body, however, is not thrilled to get a to-do list when what it truly wants is breakfast, and takes an hour of coaxing to get out of bed.
I go to the bathroom and flex in front of my mirror. This is partly because I am vain, but also because I am impatient. I did a total of 10 to 11 repetitions of the Plank-to-Four-Limbed-Staff sequence yesterday, including five of them in a row. Where are my rippling biceps? In case they decide to show up without telling me I flex several more times during the day, just to be sure. This reassures me and amuses my wife, so it’s a win-win for all concerned.
I weigh myself. I do this about three or four times because our scale is old and imprecise and I have to take a wide sample of possible weights before settling on the most likely total. Also, I am nearsighted and the markings are small. When combined with my height, this makes accurate first readings unlikely, even when wearing glasses. Am I much lighter yet?
I eat breakfast. While breakfast digests, I search the internet for likely jobs, write in my journal and wait one hour before:
I practice yoga.
Living mindfully requires me to practice patience in a number of areas. My rippling biceps will appear, but it will take time to allow the muscle tissue to rest and rebuild itself between workouts. I will get lighter, but I will have to keep eating properly and riding my bike up hills to make that happen. For now, there are the needs of the moment. Breathe, be grateful, and be mindful.
Or, to quote Lama Surya Das, from his book Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be, “Hasten slowly, and you will soon arrive.”