Have you ever heard of a guy named Samuel Langley? He’s best known for creating a “bolometer” - yup, definitely had to google that….but you know what he’s not known for….the creation of the airplane.
Okay okay, so technically, I’m not known for that either, but let me tell ya a little background story and why I think this is a great jumping-off point into September: National Yoga Awareness Month.
Most of us learned The Wright Brothers were the first to fly a powered airplane, but what many of us don’t know is that Samuel Langley should have done it first…but he didn’t. Langley had everything he needed: a team, excessive funding for the project, and he was very well educated. He was a very well-regarded scientist, who was basically a celebrity and was even the secretary of the Smithsonian. In case you forgot, the Wright brothers were two dudes from Ohio who were bike mechanics. As you can see, both are extremely different, but only one we remember.
Langley was out for money, prestige, titles, and well, ego. The Wright Brothers were all about purpose.
Keyword: purpose. Why? Once The Wright Brothers succeeded, Langley quit. In the words of Cody Rigsby “Bye Boo.”
So what do these aviation nerds have to do with yoga (most likely something they had never done or never even probably heard of)? Purpose.
It’s all about the “why” and the practice of self-discovery and growth. Yoga is so much more than the poses, it’s truly about discovering who you really are and what you’re really capable of.
The union of purpose and practice, whether you’re in a fight to create the first flying contraption or you struggling in Warrior 2, showcases the ability to find balance within yourself and your consistent effort to practice hard things.
So, next time you’re in airplane pose in the middle of yoga class, remind yourself of your purpose for yoga because that is what is going to keep you consistent and committed to your practice.