Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. ~Vince Lombardi

Yoga suggests that the practice is not a competition. There is no helpful place for judgment of self or other. Comparison kills your happiness. No one wins or loses in yoga, etc. I have been ascribing to these tenets for some time now and will continue to walk that talk. With that said, I feel there is a constant competition at play on and off the mat: The Battle Between the Mind and the Moment.

As I’ve watched my son play baseball all these years, one of the coach’s offerings that got shouted from the sidelines as the batter readied himself for the swing was, “Trust your hands!” This is my favorite. The batter has trained, listened, practiced and his body knows what to do in the Moment. The competition then becomes one between Mind and Experience. Inevitably the Mind has some nonsense to offer from a place of fear or expectation, none of which has anything helpful to contribute to winning the Moment.

Some of us have heard the phrase, “The game is won from the neck up.” In other words, can we “trust our hands”: our bodies, our strength, our physical capacity, something even greater than ourselves, or will we lose the competition to the Mind’s chattering of self-doubt and sabotage?  

This is the constant competition between Mind and Moment that I see within myself and others, whether the pose is Downward Facing Dog or Strike Three.

I want to win this competition. I want my students and my family and my friends to be winners as well. I want us to recognize the perfection in each Moment as it arises, let the Mind take a back seat in the bleachers and watch as we hit one out of the park every time! Fortunately for us, there is a LOT of opportunity to practice.