I feel fortunate. I have had the practice of yoga in my life for over 20 years and I’ve yet to reach the age of 40. I don’t know too many able to claim that. Yet many of the principles I practice in my life came prior to the mat. I found those practices on the rugby pitch.

From the outside what appears to be a brutish game is actually quite inspired. Tactical in the vein of chess, it is full of athletic prowess with competitiveness of the highest level. Its lack of padding I found comfort in, as the test of muscle and bone colliding upon itself seemed simple, compared to hard plastics and metal.

It’s true gift happens off the field. For 80 mins, collisions just shy of dismemberment. Left on the field, players joke with their opposite numbers over beers.

Rugby taught me to be a gentleman, not a gentle man. To leave it on the field.

The community taught me to respect others, to ask for help and to explore ways of doing. The social side taught me to love the part of me that loves good times. I was introduced to books I may never have found. I discovered my love of travel by playing across my home province.

The Rugby world cup runs until the end of October in England. Chances to view this game at the highest level will be presented at your local pub and the occasional sports bar. Take the time to expand your view and explore the thrill of this international game.