Have you ever looked at someone doing yoga and thought they were born that bendy and that’s why they are able to do yoga?
Research and a recent book by Malcolm Gladwell assert that even people who we think of as ‘clever’ or ‘gifted’ have only got to their level of achievement because they have been putting in the hours, day in, day out.
Neurologist Daniel Levitin says “the emerging picture from such studies is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert-in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again… No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time..”
However, in his book Deceived Wisdom, David Bradley disagrees saying it was based on research by psychologist Anders Ericsson of Florida State University who never mentioned it. Bradley maintains “It (practice) can make you perfectly competent – but not necessarily excellent”.
Nevertheless if we want to progress and develop in body, mind and spirit through yoga, as with anything, putting in the practice means we reap rewards and create a healthy discipline in our lives. I don’t agree with Huffington Post writer, Kino MacGregor’s single-minded view that we have to keep going back to the mat in order to practise. There are many other ways to practise yoga too, especially if we are not so physically flexible and strong. The following are just a few:
– bringing the attention to the breath,
– feeling the feet on the ground, and our posture, as we stand and walk,
– listening to someone with complete attention
– treating ourselves and others with ‘ahimsa’ (non violence)
If you’d like to know more, read the article in the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kino-macgregor/yoga-practice_b_2870247.html or put in the hours and read the books!