Reality is Subtle
So often I have students approach me with comments like; “do you think my yoga practice is improving” or “I have been at this for months now and I am not seeing any changes” or “how long do you think its going to take me to achieve xyz postures.
To be honest, the list of questions and comments go on and on. And please let me be the first to tell you, I did the same thing when I first started many years ago on my spiritual yoga journey, I am sure I drove many of my yoga teachers crazy with my relentless inquisition. Funny though, when I look back at a few wise teachers, they essentially said the same thing and it was not much. Here are the oldies but goodies that still apply to all of us today. “Be patient”, “Be kind” to yourself and others and “It takes time.” I know, nothing magical as you might have been expecting, but what the heck I am a realist and I have gone through this many times just like you. If you are looking for a quick fix, or a magical pill, you’re not going to find it here.
Now lets take a person that has been living with chronic pain for many years and only after several weeks or months, they have suddenly increased their depth of breath, have less tension in their back and shoulders and are now feeling less stress at work. Lets understand something here; our bodies have millions of functions going on at once that we are for the most part completely oblivious to. And how amazing this machine is, that it still gets up in the morning, takes us to and fro where ever we wish to go and do all the wonderful things we get to do.
So lets look at a few other powerful subtly examples and the importance of it in achieving the grand. If you are a musician, you understand that it is the fine-tuning of the instrument that produces the most beautiful clarity of song. If you are an athlete, you understand that it is the more precise that is the most victorious. Think about it, in chemistry, water (under normal pressure) will not boil at 99.9 degrees Celsius, but raise it to 100 degrees and the water begins to boil. Water will not freeze at .05 degrees Celsius, but will turn to ice at 0 degrees Celsius.
It is very common for us, including myself to disregard the subtle changes in our quest for the grand. We are often reminded that “every journey begins with one step”, yet when it comes down to it we often want to just be at the end of our journey even though we truthfully just began. It is the subtle, not the grand that determines the nature of our environment. The more sensitive and appreciative we are of the subtle changes in our life on and off the mat, the greater joy, prosperity and health we will have in our lives. So as you go about your daily life, acknowledge the small changes that occur and always remind yourself to appreciate the subtle.