|(This is the 6th of an eight-part series inspired by Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras)|
Lust/ Sensory Distraction (Sanskrit: avirati): When we are not able to pull back from the cravings of the senses and worldly lust, our discernment on and off the course can be impacted by this obstacle. This obstacle includes craving for a lower score to feed our ego or the sensual pleasure of outdriving our playing partners by 50-yards to feel better about ourselves. This obstacle avirati also includes the element of overindulgence. Maybe we only practice what we are good at to fluff our ego and avoid working on the weaker areas of our game because it’s too uncomfortable. We lust to win the club championship for fame, praise, and recognition, losing sight of the deeper value of testing our skills in competition. On a subtle level, the senses can get us into trouble if we don’t keep them focused. For example, Robbie ‘Rabbit Ears’ hears a small bird fart in his backswing and slices his shot into the woods, or we start to see the lake instead of focusing on the fairway. If the senses gain the upper hand and see themselves as the boss rather than the servant to the mind, the shot will be a disaster. The senses must be kept under control so they don’t become a distraction.
More obstacles to come . . .
Dodie Mazzuca is the author of “Golf Sutras: Lessons for Transforming the Mental Game with Yoga’s Inner Wisdom” and founder of Golf PROformance. She teaches golf and Mindfulness for Golf programs in Santa Cruz, CA.