There’s a video on the internet that I watch on occasion to get motivated. It’s about 15 minutes long if you’re interested, you can watch it HERE. The best part I like, echoes famous speeches from Vince Lombardi and Teddy Roosevelt, and one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I won’t tell the whole story, but the quote is “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
In his speech titled “What it Takes to Be Number One”, Vince Lombardi said, “There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head-to-head combat.” (LINKED HERE)
Teddy Roosevelt famously expressed similar sentiments numerous times, including his “A Strenuous Life” speech from 1899. He said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” He even expounded a little further to say, “There is no room in our healthy American life for the mere idler.” (TR echoed these phrases many times. Click HERE for 1899, HERE for 1902, HERE for 1903, and HERE for 1916 references.)
These can seem like hard concepts – talking about work and combat – and maybe a little surprising coming from a yogi. The postures of a yoga practice are both physically and mentally challenging. However, the practice of yoga is more than just postures.
Yoga is a lifestyle discipline (not a religion, and not just a workout). Most people focus on the postures, the Asanas, because that is what we see when, or if you think of yoga. However, the practice of yoga begins with a discipline of character – personal ethics – known as the Yamas and Niyamas, summarized in “The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali”.
In this timeless masterpiece, Patanjali even goes beyond the postures to describe the extension of yoga practice of right breath, right speech, and the concentration required of a yogi (or yogini). This series of disciplines became known in the Buddhist religion as the Noble Eight-Fold Path. This is taught as a path to end suffering.
NOTE: We feel it is important to point out that we are not Buddhist. Practicing yoga postures and repeating Sanskrit words (like Namaste) do NOT make you Buddhist, Hindi. Even following the Eight-Fold path will NOT transform you into any particular religious figure. Likewise, meditating like the Bible says, or following the 10 commandments does not make you Christian or Jewish. If you seek religion, we encourage you to find a mosque, synagogue, or church. Likewise, if you need medical assistance, consult with a medical professional.
We offer these timeless examples to illustrate the unity in the message that the yoga discipline intends. Whether you associate with the motivational speaker, a famous athlete and coach, a President and warrior, or religious texts. We can find unity if we choose; choose to Love the strength of Unity, over the Fear of Diversity. We can find success if we choose to work for it.
The word yoga, literally translates as “to yoke”. Imagine the physical yoke that would be worn by livestock to cultivate a field. Now consider the act of consciously picking up the yoke and committing yourself to tend to the field of your daily life.
Are you willing to bear the burden? Are you cultivating the field today that will bear seeds in the harvest six months, a year, or even five years from now? This requires discipline. It requires work.
This is your moment, your “tomorrow” can start today. Don’t put it off. Find a refuge, a place where you can find encouragement in your life beyond just a sweaty workout.
We hope you’ll decide to drop into a class with Sol, feel the difference, and commit to a way of Being that will support your journey. We humbly offer our yoga practice as a place to find this encouragement, to help you along your path. And, we fully acknowledge it is a practice not yoga perfect. We are travelers sharing the same path, and as “iron sharpens iron”, we hope to help one other along your journey toward success in 2020 and many years to come!