Today I want to talk about yoga. Well, not specifically yoga but more health in general.
I practice Ashtanga Yoga, sometimes known as Power Yoga, at least four times per week and sometimes more. I schedule my exercise into my weekly diary along side all my other to dos. I make it important because it is important.
Anthony Robbins claims that the hardest part about going to the gym is getting there. Sometimes I put on my yoga clothes in the morning when I’m tired and stiff, and try in my head to give myself a million and one excuses why I won’t practice today. Maybe I’m sore from yesterday’s practice, or maybe I have a meeting later this morning that I need to prepare for. My favourite “get out of yoga” excuse is that I’ve practiced enough this week already, and I don’t really need to practice today. But these are exactly what they sound like. Excuses.
In their book Odin and the Sphinx, Keith Raniere and Ivy Nevares claim that:
“More noble humans do not simply follow their urges; they have learned to master them and follow a more global course of behaviour guided by abstract principles.”
Or as Cato the Elder so eloquently put it:
If you are ruled by mind you are a king; if by body, a slave
So what makes some people highly successful and others not? Do they have something that you don’t? Probably not.
Those who are highly successful in their chosen field have usually learned to overcome their body feelings, to peruse a higher goal or outcome. This is one of the most fundamental keys to success.
No matter what your goal is – to lose weight, run a marathon, attract more clients, start a business – you must decide on a course of action and learn to overcome your body urges. Not just once, but many many times.
Putting on weight does not happen from eating one piece of chocolate cake: it comes from eating one piece of chocolate cake, many many times. In reverse, losing it does not come from abstaining once: it comes from abstinence over a long period of time. Building your company requires doing the thing you know you should do, many many times. Having a chunk of savings in your bank account comes from putting away 10% of your earnings, many many times.
In essence you must learn to live and think independently of how your body is feeling, and resist urges that are reactive and not aligned with your higher goal.
The benefit? As you start to achieve your goals and live your dream, moment-to-moment happiness that comes from body satiation will be replaced by a stronger sense of joy and peace. You will be less concerned by satiating your body urges and will gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and ultimately a deeper understanding of all human beings.