Sunday, January 1, 2012

practice patience and compassion

One of the important lessons of Yoga Sutra I.17 is that you are not supposed to be able to master everything immediately - and no one else is either! Shift a pattern of being critical of yourself or others by noticing when that judgmental voice starts to pop up and immediately countering it with a true and positive thought. If you find yourself getting impatient at the checkout line because the cashier is slow, focus on the fact that she is thorough and careful. If you are feeling critical of your child's teacher for not responding to emails in a timely manner, think how great she is in the classroom. And if you are frustrated with yourself because you are having a difficulty with something, remind yourself of your valuable skills.

You can also try this more formal practice: Sit comfortably and take a few relaxed breaths. As you continue breathing comfortably, allow the mind to settle on one person or area where you are feeling impatience, criticism, or judgement.

Over the course of the next few breaths, acknowledge this situation or person "as is" and try to look at the seeming deficiency from a more positive angle. If it is a quality in yourself that you are unhappy with, examine your choices. Instead of feeling down about yourself, do you want to put in the effort to change? (Take a class to improve your computer skills? Spend time practicing your Spanish?) Or can you be content with the skill level you have and be free of self-criticism?

If you are frustrated by the lack of progress in your yoga practice or in any other endeavor, cultivate patience and self-compassion by reminding yourself that insights and change will come in their own time with continued diligence.

This practice, whether you do it formally or simply reflect on it periodically as you go about your day, can help counteract the perfectionism, impatience, and high expectations that keep you from being patient and compassionate with yourself and others. Ultimately if can lead you to greater peace of mind in the midst of all your pursuits.
- Yoga Journal

Learn more about yoga at Paya Bay Resort in Roatan, Honduras.

1 comment:

504 99 49 59 61 said...

Great post, if we all step back to take a few quite breathes, clear out negative thoughts and replace with positive one's our seemingly harsh world would take on a nicer appearance.....