In the last few days a close friends dog was just put down…and my wife and I just got a new puppy.

We are all going to die, from the day we’re born we’re on our way, that’s the one thing we do know for certain. When, we can’t know, so an important question becomes just how alive we are during our time here, and that’s a choice.

During a yoga class we challenge ourselves mentally and physically, and as a result we grow. How much we grow is linked to how willing we are to face challenge and struggle, and the growth that is important isn’t measured just in muscles, but rather how much our spirit grows. Whatever spirit means for you, one way I often consider is just how alive and present someones eyes look.

Just willing our way into a physical challenge can cut us off from deeper mental growth, for instance when you’re grimacing and using shear grit to stay in a pose such as a plank or an extended warrior 2 hold you may be cutting yourself off from the mental consequence of such challenge, and in sport this can become an avoidance strategy of ‘feeling’, and even though you’re pushing yourself hard, your not going to develop the finer qualities of grace, flow, and deeper purpose; instead you must radically be with the experience, stay present through the physical challenge and breath through the mental correlate.

Facing our mental edge in specific regard to the Circle of Life is what I’ve been exploring real time during yoga class this past week. If you don’t live close to me, join me electronically on my membership site: Real Action Athletes.