What does yoga have to do with baseball? Personally, a lot, since I love them both. Come with me while we explore the possibility of yoga and baseball as similarly inspiring.
Baseball is a perfect microcosm for life. It requires focus, awareness, flexibility, and neutrality under duress. It requires confidence in individual skill, as well as surrender to something greater. Successful teams are greater than the sum of the individual parts. A baseball game combines the solidity of physics (tell me that exit velocity again?) and the impossibility of poetry: how can anyone steal home?
Let's be real: yoga belongs to everyone. Anyone who has ever sat and breathed, or done even a little yoga, is a yogi:). Being a yogi means constantly striving to scale back reactivity.
You cultivate focus, awareness, flexibility, and neutrality under duress. There is a lot going on.
You see how things will play out, long before they do. You act from awareness rather than raw nerve. Whatever comes at you, you find a way.
For these reasons, I would like to put forth that being a yogi is like being a shortstop.
"Shortstop is one of the hardest positions to play on a baseball diamond. When playing shortstop, you have to cover the most ground of any position on the infield, moving to your left, to your right, and sometimes into the outfield for short fly balls."
The shortstop is the captain of the infield: constantly seeing and communicating who's got this: when to call them off, when to personally catch that ball.
Don't you feel like a shortstop sometimes? You've got your infield, and stuff is happening. Everything is coming at you, all at once. Unlike a shortstop who must think fast, as yogis we enjoy slowing down.
When bombarded, we put pause on the action. We notice everything. We take it into our personal yoga lab, perhaps over several days of practice. Perhaps into the uplifting energy of a group class. Building the meditative mind helps us to answer more clearly, from a deep sense of knowing: is this my ball to catch?
Whatever our dream field of summer, let's take time to be who we are and love simply this.
Your comments and observations are welcome! It takes a team: