Since the world is uncertain and complex, many different skills are required to thrive. Golf is a great metaphor for yoga and the things we learn about ourself in yoga, we can apply to life. I’m not much of a golfer, although I like it very much as a yoga teacher because it’s an asymmetrical sport and golfers, eventually relent and add yoga into their routine. But as for my golfing, it’s been limited to just a few occasions at a driving range.
Golf is a game of resilience. You literally take a swing and miss; how do you react in those moments? Where does your mind go? Strength alone isn’t going to get you far, you need fluidity of movement. At times (particularly the beginning), it’s really, really, really hard work. And if all of that wasn’t annoying enough; people golf or go to yoga to relax?!
Both golf and yoga can be harder work than they need to be, if you’re tense or trying to do either. The most quoted yoga sutra is sthira sukham asanam, which is one of the only instructions you need to practice asanā, golf or have an enjoyable quality of life where you can be present for it all. The sutra encourages us to balance effort with ease. There is effort required to practice yoga. Often the most effort is to get yourself to class or ring fence that weekly appointment when you have so many other demands on your time. Once you’re in class, I’m there guiding you to balance the exertion and effortlessness.
I’ve never been more convinced of the long-term benefits of a yoga and meditation practice, as recently I’ve spent time practicing with legends of modern yoga, who are still practicing yoga, even though they are in their late 80s! I had a realisation when I watched these teacher move with grace and ease; when you're new to a gym/ fitness class, you're likely to do a bit less than everyone else, because it's all unfamiliar. By complete contrast; people who are new or returning to yoga will be working infinitely harder than more established practitioners. So, deepest respect if you feel like you're the latter, and... stick with it, it literally only gets easier.
See you in class tonight 7.30-8.45pm @ Hove Methodist Church or live via zoom. Click here for details.