Some days, as we begin class, I ask you to envision your goals for your practice. Some goals you might have for your yoga practice could include:
- weight loss
- less pain
- better flexibility
- improved confidence
- or even Downward-facing Dog Pose
If you have been practicing yoga for a while now, what goals have you achieved? How do you know when your goal has been accomplished? Have you made new goals? I would argue that as you practice yoga, your goals fall away. It does not matter if your goals are realized. Yoga is so much more than something to cross off your list for the week. Yoga is so much more than a tool to accomplish a goal.
The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root that means “to join”. In philosophical terms, joining the individual self to the universal self is yoga. The body, consciousness, and breath must all be in harmony. Some afflictions have been identified to disturb that harmony: ignorance, ego, pride, individuality, selfishness, passion, desire, attachment, aversion, hate, and fear. All of these hold us back from our true self.
Moving forward, use your yoga practice to quiet all the chatter about goals. Allow your practice to restore the mind to simplicity and peace. Free yourself from confusion, distress and other negative feelings caused by modern life. My hope is that your yoga practice fills up your reservoirs of hope and optimism, and helps you to overcome all obstacles on your path to perfect health and spiritual contentment.