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alistair, cricket, and the yoga of action

as england’s great opening batsman, Alistair Cook, comes to the end of his record breaking career, i can’t help but draw parallels between the essential cricketing and life skills he has mastered over the years and those that patanjali lays down as the foundations for a yoga life under the subheading, kriya yoga – the yoga of action.

alistair cook shows that a good cricketer needs discipline, honest self-reflection and the grace to accept that he or she cannot control all aspects of the game. patanjali says “yogic action has three components – discipline, self study and orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness.” yoga sutra II 1 trans. hartranft.

this doesn’t need to be a heavy burden, but it is a project of a lifetime for most of us. it takes a moment to commit to regular and life changing practice, to roll out your mat and begin; then, do this again and again with dedication and respect for both the practice and yourself, be authentic and present and accept that you are not always in charge.

alistair cook’s example is a lesson to encourage those of us with limited talent to practise, practise, practise… with good grace…

“Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou