I just don’t like yoga.
But I just do it because I know it’s good for you.
You may have said these words yourself, or you may have heard them from the US Open Women’s Singles Champion, Coco Gauff. Both her and the GOAT herself, Serena Williams, are known for their insane athletic ability, but also for incorporating yoga into their training. While Williams loves practicing yoga, Gauff said “Because I train so much, I don’t want to do anything on a day off, maybe like yoga or something. I don’t like yoga. But I just do it because I know it’s good for you.”
I hear stuff like this all the time:
Yoga is boring.
Isn’t yoga just stretching?
I just don’t really like yoga.
Now, I know you aren’t a US Open Women’s Single Champion, I mean speak for myself right?!?!! But what Gauff is talking about here is her discipline or what we refer to in yoga philosophy as Tapas. Tapas is one of the Niyamas, which are the personal disciplines or observances outlined in Patanjalie’s Yoga Sutras.
Tapas can be understood as self-discipline, perseverance, and the willingness to do what is necessary, even when it is challenging or uncomfortable. It involves cultivating inner strength and determination to overcome obstacles and resistances on the path of self-improvement and spiritual growth.
Let’s just be really clear though, this should be for practices that help your growth, not hinder. This doesn’t mean staying in your crappy relationship, staying in burnout mode, or pushing yourself past your limits.
Whether it’s yoga, journaling, meditating, going on walks, eating nourishing foods, or making your bed every morning, most likely you incorporate tapas into your daily routine, but you probably didn’t realize it.
“When my mind is clear,” Gauff says, “I’m able to play a lot clearer as well.” That is one of the many benefits her practice of Tapas that yoga has brought to her. The power to remain calm, maintain focus, and create self improvement on the court and in her life.