I go to the credit union twice a week during their “slow time“ so I don’t have to wait in line to make my deposits. Inevitably I’m waiting in line listening to the person in front of me tell the banker person their whole life story and then requesting an entire month itemized transaction sheet as an after thought, like they forgot why they even had to come to the bank that day. The bank employee gives me a look that tells me she’s on my side. This only makes my blood boil. Standing still in line gives me time to think of all the great things I could be doing. I am getting a little critical of the person in front me now and then three more customers come into the bank talking on cell phones. I hate this place. I leave the bank embarrassed because I just handled myself poorly in front of someone I know I will be seeing regularly. I was wearing a Greenville Yoga t-shirt too. Now I think of all the other times I curse people in my head. Wow, I feel like a total asshole. This can’t be right. Am I turning into my father and judging everyone in my head? Oh, please tell me how to stop this madness. All of this hits me square in the face making one simple bank deposit. How can I stop this unhealthy cycle of thoughts and reactions in my daily life? How can I live an authentic existence in harmony with all of those around me?
The next day I was teaching a class and realized what I needed. I remembered years ago in Max’s class. Everything was so hard. I was injured and just beginning the process of healing. As I practiced in Max’s classes, I realized I couldn’t fight through the pain of each pose. I had to relax, let go and breathe. As I got on my mat, I realized the same was true of the bank situation. I needed to relax, let go and breathe.
That was seven years ago. I still go to the bank twice a week. Now I go when it’s convenient for me to go. I walk in, smile and wait in line standing in Tadasana (mountain pose) breathing Ujjayi. I now realize how this bank experience is an opportunity to practice yoga off the mat. I am completely in control of my own emotions and feel patient waiting my turn. The practice of releasing into uncomfortable yoga postures while breathing deeply has prepared me to focus on my internal situation instead of the external.
We take the work we do on the yoga mat and infuse the experiences into daily living. Whether the situation is a bank dilemma, Woodruff road traffic, a whining four year old or a three-minute pigeon posture; we relax, let go and breathe into the uncomfortable situation.