As I was watching my son play baseball this weekend, I got to thinking about how baseball is a game that requires a tremendous amount of presence. Both batting and fielding require a player’s mind and body to react within seconds of a pitch being thrown or a ball being hit.
This dawned on me as I watched my son bat. Before stepping into the batter’s box he takes a deep breath. As a spectator you can see his shoulders rise and fall. I asked him about this practice when I first noticed last year and he told me that taking a breath helps him to focus and be present. That one breath shuts out all sound and distraction, allowing him to be “completely in the moment”.
Presence and focus allow us to be completely in the moment of now. To be able to determine whether a pitch is a ball or strike alone takes one’s complete attention and focus. Tracking a ball and making a play syncs body and mind, which can only happen in the present moment.
Yoga is a practice, we do not compare, measure or compete. There are no winners or losers. But much like baseball, we realize the greatest benefits of our practice when we are present.