MY YOGA PRACTICE: 5 THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY FAVORITE ATHLETES AND THEIR OPPONENTS
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd May weather
"With experience in boxing, you learn how to be a scientific boxer and how to fight easy." - Manny Pacquiao
“I want to be able to separate the average from the good and from the great. I want to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.” - Floyd Mayweather
My journey in becoming the best yogi I can be has come through my experience learning from those who have been in the game a lot longer than me, who have practiced far more years than me. In order to get better, I have learned that you can't be afraid to ask for help and to look up to those who have been down that road. I try to be a blank canvas. It takes courage to surround yourself in an environment you never thought you'd find. When I meet an obstacle, I try to figure out a new way to go around it. Self doubt only has you believing you are not worthy, and it's just not true. In order to improve, you can't be afraid of change, criticism, or competition.
Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova
“Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” - Serena Williams
“My main goal is to stay healthy because when you're injured you realize how lucky you are to have your health.” - Maria Sharapova
For me, being "fit" on the outside is less important to me than internal wellbeing. Staying healthy is like saving money, I hope that it will help me through the rainy days as I grow older. Luck, as Serena mentions, has nothing to do with health. You have to work at it to see and FEEL the results. I don't use my genetics as an excuse, I accept my cards and keep it moving. Diabetes, hypertension, heart illnesses, and hyperthyroidism run in my family. So I try to maintain a preventative health and attitude.
Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O'Neal
“If you're afraid to fail, then you're probably going to fail.” - Kobe Bryant
I don't get nervous in any situation. There's no such thing as nerves when you're playing games.” - Shaquille O’Neal
Fear is something I experience from time to time, but if I don’t learn to conquer those emotions in the early stages, it will take me much longer to dig myself out of the hole. The key is to know what triggers those fears. Then I visualize, visualize, visualize. I've been the shortest, smallest person on a basketball team. But I didn't let it stop me from trying. It mad me so uncomfortable for people to watch me mess up, but I know I needed it. They relied on my speed, not my height. Sometimes you have to stop wearing a sheep's mask and go wolf.
Michael Jordan vs. Isaiah Thomas
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” - Michael Jordan
“It was important to me to believe, because if I don't believe, how can I expect them to believe?” - Isiah Thomas
I think it’s common for a lot of people including myself to go through bullying, naysayers, and yeabutts. (Yeabutts are those whose have nothing better to say than “Yea, but…”) If I listened to every single put down or judgement, I would not be able to gather the courage to pursue goals in life. I’ve had to learn to “turn off the noise” and remind myself that there’s just not enough space for doubt. The best way to eliminate doubt is to turn your back on it. It's okay to walk away from negative people. For every negative thought I had about me, I had to ask myself, "Who put it there?" Truth is, I never put it there, it was always someone else. My downfall was listening to it. I realized how much I needed to stop giving a care for those who had nothing to offer but pain and headaches. Yoga is about reducing the unnecessary in life, getting rid of the dead weight.
Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” - Muhammad Ali
“I've achieved 'the American dream.' I feel it's my duty to help others achieve their vision, too - especially the youth.” Joe Frazier
Through my yoga practice, I know that karma is a real vibration that resonates through our actions. I’ve learned that this practice is present inside and outside of the studio, in every moment throughout our day. Giving back is vital to keeping the light and positivity flowing. I love these quotes because it reinforces true sportsmanship. I know in my heart that I want to help others before leaving the Earth, it's the only thing that people will remember you by. Selflessness is so healing.