It’s a statement we’ve all heard before and in different words, but all with the same meaning. Sometimes moving slower and more deliberately is better than rushing to get something done or be the first.
Yoga teaches us to be present. To take time to breathe through the posture. To flow from one asana to the next. To allow the body and mind to settle. To relax and let the posture come without forcing it. While we’re often tempted to rush through the posture, or try to force ourselves, we find the more we push, the longer it takes to master.
Sadly, I work in an industry where that’s not always the case. As a producer at a cable television station that’s all about ‘breaking news’, we‘re expected to be the first, to be the fastest and to get it out there ASAP!
It’s often hard to break out of that mindset, and it’s why yoga has become such a vital part of my life. When I left work yesterday to go get acupuncture, though, my mind was still in the hurry-up mode. So, you can imagine the panic that set in when there was a traffic jam during the part of the drive that was supposed to be smooth sailing.
I sat. And I sat. And I sat some more. Slowly inching toward the bottleneck. While sitting there, I called the doctor’s office just to let them know. As you might expect in a place that is all about eastern medicine, they weren’t the least bit worried about it. I, on the other hand, continued to stress about being late and the domino effect that was going to have on the office.
So, when I got through the blocked area, I took off…. Driving well over the speed limit and moving from lane to lane to get ahead. I was getting close. I was only going to be a few minutes late…
Those dreaded lights. I saw them flip on as I approached and sure enough they followed me.
“Ma’am… I pulled you over for doing 46 in a 35.” UGH! Yep, a speeding ticket. A $200 speeding ticket to be more specific. And, no doubt, I will probably end up with points, increased insurance, yada, yada, yada. And, I would be even later to my appointment, the reason I was rushing in the first place, and all because of the chatter in my brain that made being a few minutes late, a tragedy.
After I was treated, I was talking to the assistant/yoga teacher about the pain I’ve been dealing with and how I’m so frustrated with not really being able to do my ashtanga practice. She recommended doing a few hip openers with a strap, just slow and easy kind of stuff, not my usual intense practice, or to at least alternate the two.
Then she said the words that are sticking with me now… “Slower is faster…”
Slower practice and therapy leads to faster recovery.
Working slower will help you work more effectively, and in the end reach the final goal faster.
And, if I’d just gone slower, i.e. the speed limit, I would have actually gotten to my appointment faster.