Relaxation & Courage

I’ve been making the long late-night drive again, on the way back home from El Camino Hospital on Thursdays after teaching MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) there with Bob Stahl. It’s a great time to listen to podcasts, especially as I’m trying to keep my eyes open on 280, practicing mindfulness of sleepiness.

Last night, I listened to an episode of TTBOOK (To The Best of Our Knowledge), about procrastination. Have you heard it yet? A couple of the guests challenge the common assumption that procrastination is about perfectionism, and point instead to impulsiveness and impulse control. I like that. It’s helped me sit down and write this post, as for some reason blogging has been less appealing to me this week than other activities like getting my taxes started. Strange but true.

There’s a satisfaction in simply doing what we’ve set ourselves to do that can’t be found in distraction, since the inner voice always knows what else we meant to do, and continually prompts us from behind the scenes.

This isn’t what I meant to write about this morning. There are a lot of topics on my mind lately, simmering away. There’s all the recent media– mostly, journalists interviewing journalists– about what we know, and don’t know, about the hazards and benefits of yoga, and book promotions. Oops, a little cynicism sneaking in there. Honestly, I’m not quite ready to touch that one. Maybe later.

And I’ve been reflecting on teaching. I’m about to log my 1,000-th hour of formal teaching time since abandoning my strategy of certification procrastination a couple years ago, and I’ve been teaching many more public classes lately than usual. I’m pedagogical. Practicing while teaching. Mindful while teaching meditation. Teaching asana practice truly from the inside out. Steady on.

But for today, I’ll settle for sharing a few words from Richard Strozzi Heckler, which have been with me over the past few weeks. They offer a way of attending to procrastination, media, and pedagogy. He reminds us, very simply and to the point, to cultivate in ourselves: “Relaxation and courage: two virtues vastly underrated for a full, wholehearted life.”



  1. Hi Rachel,

    Well said! I love the quote from Richard. Amen!!

    With love,

  2. Mohandas says:

    I think there is iighsnt in the conception of yoga as mindfulness in motion. This simple conception could be quite useful especially to someone who is in the early stages of their examination of and experience with yoga that awkward stage where one may find oneself in the middle of a pose thinking, What is this that I am doing again? Ah, mindfulness in motion.’ Right.

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