Good morning, mindful friends!
I’m not a huge football fan, but I am definitely fascinated by people who excel in their respective fields. The top of the top. The elite.
In Tim S. Grovers book, “Relentless,” he delineates among the professional athletes in the NBA there is good, great and unstoppable. Even in the crème de la crème of professional basketball, there are distinct differences among athletes. And of course this level of achievement can be extrapolated to any area of life.
So. Back to Tom Brady and yoga. Tom Brady is arguably the GOAT – but I’m certainly not here to debate that!
I’m actually here to support my fantastical claim that Brady attributes his success to yoga and meditation. I mean, there are a million different things we could discuss here. One particular thing made it completely evident to me, and it was something that happened off the field.
I watched horrified after the Patriots underwhelming win in Super Bowl LIII (I mean seriously, least exciting Super Bowl ever, except for those kickers!!) and Tom Brady was immediately thronged by a pack of rabid media cameras, reporters, and press handlers. Just watching, I felt so much anxiety and stress, especially witnessing that tiny female CBS reporter getting swallowed up and pushed and jostled in the jockeying to speak to Brady.
I mean, I freak out when there’s more than five people waiting in line to check in to my yoga class. Seriously, my heart palpitates; my breathing gets shallow; I start to sweat a little bit.
I was riveted watching how Tom Brady reacted under all of that pressure, in the midst of that chaos. And he was so calm and relaxed and PRESENT. He politely kept deflecting the reporters as a steady stream of Rams and Patriots broke through the huddle to speak with him. And you could see that he was having genuine moments with players, coaches and even the team’s owner. Genuine moments of true connection and clarity.
Wow! Just wow! I was literally watching yoga in action.
So of course I immediately googled Tom Brady and yoga. And I found a couple images. But it took like 45 minutes, because I ended up looking at tons of images of his gorgeous wife Gisele, and them together (greatest couple of all time) and their beautiful family.
I finally got back on track.
Because truly, our yoga practice doesn’t begin and end on our mat. It’s a practice that’s created so that we can live a life filled with grace, awareness and the ability to stay focused and anchored in each moment of life.
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
While we most likely will never be in the Super Bowl or married to a supermodel, we will all inevitably feel external stress and pressure on the daily. We will also have projects and tasks that require and deserve our undivided attention.
Fortunately, we won’t be under public scrutiny for each interaction we have with others or while we are actually doing our jobs.
Yoga is not a physical pose. It is a yoking of mind body and spirit. It is an internal state of being.
The practice is in maintaining our perfect inner calmness and stillness in the midst of external chaos. It is not the stress factors crushing us from the outside that creates discord; if there is already discord there, it will be surfaced. If we are filled with peace and inner calmness, that is what will surface from outside pressures.
Yes, of course the rigorous physical practice and training in any arena is required. But it all begins first with the mind. It is through the light of yoga that we understand on a conscious level the divine and inseparable connection of mind and body.
Have a great week, yogis!