the yoga of football

you don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate this:

i’m not a football fan and i do.

i admit, i didn’t watch the big game yesterday. not even for the commercials.

in fact, i was on an airplane home from teaching all weekend in atlanta…which is the only reason i knew there was a super bowl at all.

anyway, watch or no watch, i have to assume you at least heard. the patriots came from a 28-3 deficit in the third quarter to win 34-28 in overtime. the first overtime in super bowl history.

and you’re probably thinking, how did this make its way into a yoga blog? at least semi-barbaric over-testosteroned men, tackling each other for fun and self-inducing concussions (did i mention i’m not a football fan?)…?

here’s how: there are tremendous yoga lessons to be learned from last night’s game. if you overlook the little things mentioned in the previous paragraph…

this is how i see it…

first and foremost, know the fat lady. until she sings the game has not ended. you may think it’s ended. maybe the fat lady spoke. or the thin lady sang. but it’s not over until it’s over. never give up. if you can’t nail that handstand, backbend, arm balance, twist, whatever today, it doesn’t mean you won’t get it tomorrow. don’t give up because you (think) you look stupid, because you fell (hard), or because you are sooooooooooo far from where you think you need to be. just…gain…yardage. every day. move forward a little and eventually you do find the end zone.

second, you can still catch a fumble. what may have been the greatest catch in super bowl history (or so i hear), started as a fumble. and ended as a catch. it doesn’t matter if you flip, if you trip, if you fumble or you stumble. there is always a second chance. when i am working on hard poses, my greatest successes are not the ones i get right away, but the ones i almost fall out of but somehow, some way manage to catch and save. when you are falling out of a pose, do you give up and just go with the fall? or do you fight to stay in it…to win it?

third, put in the overtime. a tie is as good as a tie. there’s no win in that. don’t rest on your laurels. don’t just fight the good fight. don’t get complacent with your effort. practice for greatness. if you really want something–say, a yoga pose–you have to work hard for it. you need to practice every day and many nights. tapas. eat it alive.

fourth, when things are going your way, continue on your way. don’t get rest on your laurels. being up 28-12 when there are less than ten minutes left in the game does not mean you won. it means the game is yours to lose. you have to always stay on your game 100% to keep your edge. i see so many people who give up on a pose or transition when they are 95% there and can’t understand why. it’s because they gave up at 95. 95 is not 100. you need 100. a pose is done when a pose is done. yoga is a practice of transitions. that means each pose has three parts: entry, posture, exit. 100% gets you to your goal.

and finally, a word about sundays. or six words to be exact: there is no day of rest.

make your practice your 24/7 life and just wait to see how many surprise victories come your way.

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