Hurry Up and Relax!

Last week I had made plans to take a 5 pm yoga class.  Yoga, you know, that workout which is supposed to be about mindfulness, Zen moments, body awareness, and relaxation of the mind, body and spirit.   I actually do take yoga for the physical aspects, but mostly to help keep my mind and spirit centered, to relax my soul.  As I was driving to yoga, I got caught in some very bad traffic, after already taking off to class later than I had planned.  I was in a panic.  Have you ever walked into a yoga class late?  It’s not a good idea!  I started to get frustrated and anxious about the traffic and worried that I would disrupt the class, irritate the teacher and maybe not even get a spot to lay my mat; or worse yet have to move the whole back row over a foot so I could squeeze in. 

I had a little “self talk” and decided I had 2 choices:

1) skip yoga completely 2) go in to the class late, accept it and smile at the other students and teacher

I chose option #2.

Still, however, I was uptight and wound tight as I rolled in at 8+ minutes past the start time.    During the first 20 minutes of yoga I kept thinking about how hurried I felt and was trying to relax.   I realized my angst about being in a rush started from the moment I knew I was running a little late (before I even got into my car).  I was rushing, so I could go to a class to relax!!  Do we really need to put so much pressure on ourselves just so we can get to an environment in order to find our Zen moment? 

After the class was over, I went to the teacher and thanked him for being so gracious in letting me step into the class late (note, I had to wait outside the door until meditation was over!).  I told him I realized I was in a hurry to relax and that the mindfulness of yoga helped me consciously realize I don’t need yoga in a class ROOM to find my peace, it really should be in many moments throughout the day…especially at my most frustrating situations (like rush hour!).  

Since last week, I’ve tried to observe my behaviors centered around my harried schedule and how I can “relax” more.  This doesn’t mean I don’t take the situation (frustration) seriously; I am simply trying to take the situation more “gracefully”.

I hope in sharing this experience with you, you too can notice when and where you might be trying to be in a rush to relax and see if you can stop the rush and find the relaxation in that moment!