Fitness for the Soul
I don’t know too many swamis who follow sports. I certainly don’t. My minimal involvement within the last five years to do with sports has been hands on participation in volley ball with the summer youth bus tour and I also confess to serving the ball a few times with some young men in Mayapura, India. I swim and regularly walk.
But get this, the Toronto football team, the Argonauts, are taking yoga. Yes, it’s a fact some of those big sportsmen are stretching their stiff limbs. I’ve been encouraging our own young monks from Halifax to routinely do yoga workouts for longevity sake. Good health means better and extended service. I suggested to Nitai Rama the head monk, “Why not teach yoga courses promoting them as yoga for men? It could bring in a small income as well.”
I have found that just a few stretches can bring about agility and allow a person to perform the days’ tasks better. Even pranayama (breath exercises) is great for bringing out alertness. You have probably seen image of a group of monks who are lulled to sleep in the wake of a talk by their master. Some good respiratory work-out for just a few seconds before sitting down to listen can do wonders to combat sleepiness.
I walked down a ravine today to see virtually hundreds of people engage in walking and exercising and breathing in the good autumn air. This is admirable. If only they could add onto their physical agenda some true spirituality, then we can boast of a well-rounded program.
The point is that sound body and sound mind are for the purpose of the soul’s smooth journey back to Godhead. Our soul is not meant for staying in this world but for moving on.
I would like to see a few renowned sports heroes rise to the occasion of following the path and become ideal role models. That could help the world substantially.