Sometimes my Yoga students scowl in class. They try so hard to move into – or stay in – an asana (pose). They want to succeed and show their body who’s boss. And, their faces get all scrunched up sometimes, and their brows crinkle. They are trying so hard to be perfect.
When I see all the serious frowns in class, I’ll remind them to soften their face or smile. Or, I’ll say something irrelevant and stupid to get them to lighten up.
After all, it’s only a pose.
There is so much stress in our daily lives, no need to make more on the mat. It’s important to remember the playfulness of Yoga.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that for me Yoga and baseball have many parallels.
And, so here’s where baseball gets serious, too.
The Baltimore Orioles clinched yesterday. They’re now assured at least one playoff game for the first time in 15 years. They’ve proven their many, many, many, (many) detractors wrong. They have heartily and forcefully won the arguments of those who said their season was merely luck.
And, as they played yesterday (sweeping the Red Sox incidentally), I noticed a change in the fans. Lots of happy. Lots of cheering. But, also, lots of serious. People clenching their hands, frowning with worry, on the verge of tears. I was tense, too.
My Editor/Husband (formerly a Yankees fan, but now coming over from the dark side to all that is good and Oriole), is getting a bit testy during the games as well – barking at a crummy pitch or a poorly played ball. (Hi Honey. Lighten up on Jim Johnson will you? He’s fine.) I tend to look away during tense moments, try not to care too much, to ease the stress.
I talk a good game – I love baseball, because it’s baseball. I love the Orioles because they’re the team that “brung me”. I don’t get swept up in the victories. I love the game for the game.
But, now I’m getting excited. And, getting stressed because the games mean something more.
Over-zealous fans sort of bug me. There they are rubbing it in loudly with every victory … and then getting angry or defensive with the next loss. They seem to take it too seriously sometimes.
They miss the point.
It’s only baseball. It’s a game.
Orioles third-baseman Manny Machado (Hakuna Machado!) said in a recent interview that Orioles Skipper Buck Showalter has reminded everyone to have fun.
And, that’s the lesson for me this week, too … even if it only goes one extra post-season game.
It’s too darn fun to be in a playoff race to let stress and tension and worry mess up the good.
Strangely, I think I carried some of the excitement and stress over to my Yoga mat yesterday. I think I hyper-extended my sternum. I’m not even sure that one can do that. But, I think I did … trying to be a Yoga superstar and push through a pose, trying to show my body who’s boss.
Life is stressful.
But, Yoga shouldn’t be. And, neither should baseball.
So, I’m going to enjoy this week, no matter what it brings.