Finally, football’s back. The traditional curtain raiser kicks off the new season tomorrow – it’s Arsenal vs. Chelsea in the Community Shield.
So how is it that a Canadian lad, with the prospect of the Hockey team in the Hockey city coming back in September after a full season’s hiatus, is more excited about a ‘soccer’ team from North London? Because he was born and raised a Londoner – in the heart of the world’s greatest city I was a child adoring an irish midfielder called Liam Brady who played for a side in N5.
Now what I’m about to write, you’ll probably scoff at as a lame attempt to segue back into the main point of this blog. But here goes…Yoga has made my football better. No really, it has. I used think of football as a pointless indulgence. – a guilty naughty pleasure. You know – like most of you feel about chocolate. It doesn’t feel pointless anymore. When the entire universe is a cosmic motion picture show of image and sound conjured by the grand geometrician of the universe; when all is just a constant swirl of everchanging combinations of atoms, then football’s no less or more real than anything else. It’s just one more aspect of this celestial stage show for me to manage with equanimity. With quiet satisfaction when Thierry Henry puts a rocket in top right and with gracious acceptance when we fail to defend a longball from a shite northern side (again).
Well, I’m still a long way from that – I still scream with joy and anger. Fortunately for me, the club I support play, what Pele once famously called ‘the beautiful game’ not only successfully, but also beautifully.
With football on now practically every weekend through to May, my mat practice needs to happen earlier – especially if it’s a noon kickoff (that’s 7:00 am EST). If they’re not showing Arsenal, then I can keep it on in the background while I’m doing something else. (except asanas of course). If it is Arsenal, then I can’t – I need to focus. I need to have gotten my practice over with – and breakfast and a shower. I’m not watching Arsenal in my pajamas or my yoga shorts. That’s just not on mate. So here we go again practicing yoga Saturday mornings 0n the mat…and off the mat. Because as you see I watch my beloved Arsenal…not for the banality of sport of course, but as an practical exercise in Yoga…