They move really slowly, have no concept of time, and are often late wherever they're going. As a responsible, Type-A person, even as a child, I was always concerned with being on time. I wanted to be at school early, at the party when it started, at practice before it began so that I could chat with my friends before we took off running sprints.
Being a child of divorced parents, I have dozens of memories of school mornings spent at my dad's house, waiting in the the car or sitting by the front door, my clothes laid out the night before and my book-bag packed, waiting for my dad and brothers as they ran around the house looking for things.
Because they were so slow, I naturally decided to fill the role of designated speed demon and family hurrier/timekeeper, in order to make up for their tardiness and get everyone moving and out the door.
Often, I would sit in the car, honking the horn as I watched them straggle out, one by one, backpack half-open, books falling out, shoes in hand, while my stress levels rose higher + higher and I yelled, "Come on! Lets go! Hurry up!" out the window.
My dad jokes that "LETS GO" will be inscribed on my gravestone.
So obviously, if you asked my closest friends and family to describe me using basic adjectives, a word that they would not use is patient. It's not that I'm super impatient, per se (Although I think my brothers would probably disagree with this statement), but patience is definitely not one of my primary virtues.
Ever since I can remember, I've had an internal need for speed. I drive too fast (Especially compared to Ben, who is notorious for being the world's slowest 32-year old male driver), I'm a fast worker, I eat quickly, and when it comes to household chores, I think done is better than perfect.
When I have an idea for a new project, I want it completed and launched yesterday, and for the most part (work-wise), this has led me to be much more productive (And admittedly, more stressed out + crazy) than had I not developed this internal lead foot.
One of my constant nagging fears when driving from studio to studio is the thought that I might get pulled over for speeding on my way to teach yoga. Wouldn't that be ironic? [However, I'll tell you that it wouldn't be the first time that a yoga teacher got pulled over for speeding. In fact, Seane Corn just posted a funny anecdote about her experience being pulled over this week!]
But when it comes to yoga, or at least my own practice, my need for speed bumps up against something else--a desire for more stillness, a need to slow down, a little more patience. I've got these internal conflicting forces, and it's been interesting to watch them play out through my practice over the years.
When I first started practicing, all I wanted was fast-paced vinyasa. The more energetic, challenging, and quick-paced the sequence, the better. I was not interested in holding poses; I wanted to flow! And as a newer teacher, my classes reflected that urge.
Over the years, as my breathing has slowed and my body has gotten creakier (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it has!), my practice has slowed down. I still love a few minutes of intense movement to heat the body, but I want my flows with a little bit of slo-mo on the side, thankyouverymuch.
The thing that people often get wrong about yogis--and I've written about this before--is that they're all totally blissed out, zen, floating through life in a spiritual bubble, talking like this.
But we're not! We get speeding tickets, we get angry, we overindulge and push too hard and sometimes we get hurt because of it. One of my favorite examples EVER? When a beloved private client cut me off in traffic once (true story!)! Because we're all just regular old people trying our best and often getting it wrong. Yoga doesn't magically "fix" that.
So in summary, we've all got our things and one of my things is moving too fast because I want to get it all done 5 minutes ago. I'm working on it, and I hope that through my yoga practice, I can continue to slow down both in my flows and more importantly, in my life.
And I hope that it doesn't take actually getting a speeding ticket on my way to teach yoga in order to learn this lesson, but you know what? It might. And at least I can see it for what it is. I think I'm moving in the right direction, even if I am doing it slowly...
Oh, and I should mention that the only thing that I actually do do slowly is learn life lessons and make long-lasting changes.
Go figure ;)