The so-called “World Series” of baseball starts today featuring the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals. It has always struck me as a little arrogant to call something a “World Series” that only involves teams from North America. Granted that the best baseball players in the world ultimately find their way to the U.S. in search of the best competition and the most lucrative contracts. I know that many people find baseball almost as exciting as watching paint dry, but it is a game of great subtlety to the experienced eye and it is always fascinating to see which players can rise to the occasion on the big stage. Kansas City has been on a magical run since an improbable comeback victory against Oakland in the wild card game—subsequently sweeping the heavily favored Angels and Orioles. The Giants have been almost as hot, somehow saving their best baseball for October, but only in even years—having won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. Although I grew up in southern California and my brothers and father were Dodger fans, I was a Giants fan and idolized Willie Mays. When I moved to Encinitas in 1976 I changed my allegiance to the Padres, but since they didn’t come anywhere close to being in the World Series this year, I’ve temporarily switched my loyalty back to the Giants. Baseball used to be known as the “National Pastime”, but nowadays football has far eclipsed it in popularity. The late comedian George Carlin used to do a bit where he compared football to baseball: “In football you wear a helmet—in baseball you wear a cap; in football you play in a stadium—in baseball you play in a park; in football you drive down the field to get into the end zone—in baseball you get to go home, etc.” I’m with you George—baseball is a more pastoral and meditative game, a gentlemanly sport of subtlety, nuance and endless strategy. The World Series is appropriately known as “The Fall Classic.” My prediction is: the Giants in six.
So what does baseball have to do with yoga? Nothing really, other than the fact that today is the day that we opened registration for the Third Series Training I’m teaching next August—which I’m immodestly referring to here as the” World Series of Yoga.” When I first presented this idea to my wife a couple of months ago her response was, “Why would you want to do that? Do you think anyone will really sign up for it?” I explained that I have had several requests to teach this course at some point and that I felt a certain responsibility to do so before I die. Her response was, “Teaching this course will probably hasten your demise.” We’ve had this training listed on our website for a while and I was wondering why there hadn’t been any enquiries about it. When I checked the website I notice that along with the listing of the third series training were the words, “details tba”. A couple of days ago I composed a little write up about the training, which I presented to our studio manager, Lisa, this morning, asking her to post it ASAP. Within minutes we began to get enquiries. Lisa asked me what I should tell these people and I said she should have them submit a formal application. You’d have thought that we were selling World Series tickets! Within hours we had nearly 20 applications and half a dozen other enquiries. The great thing was the fact that these applications were submitted by students who actually seemed qualified to take the course--the Giants and the Royals of Ashtanga Yoga. Time to watch the game—go Giants!