Our lives are so goal-oriented. We often have targets or goals in mind for ourselves, and we spend time working towards them. Once we have attained our goal, we set new goals for ourselves. Whether it be to save money for a holiday, pass an exam, or gain a qualification. We have to ability to achieve great things in our lives and to feel happy when we achieve our goals.
Yoga with a Goal
Most people start to practice yoga with a goal in mind. It’s how we approach the rest of our lives so how is yoga different? People go to yoga classes to help the body recover from a physical injury, to release tension, to gain strength and flexibility, to learn to relax or even to reach enlightenment. These are all wonderful and valid reasons to practice yoga, but with only this goal seeking in mind, many people will give up on their practice as they are unlikely to see the results that they want fast enough.
When you practice yoga regularly over an extended period of time, you will undoubtedly see changes in your body and mind. However, these changes are so gradual and that they are unlikely to keep you motivated to practice. In our fast paced world, we want results and we want them fast.
So this is why these goals should be secondary in your yoga practice, and I would like to introduce a new view point to you. Every single yoga practice takes you into a new moment, into a new and unique breath that you have never breathed before. The goal you think you might reach by continuously practicing yoga is just an illusion. You are already at your destination. You have already reached your goal.
Yoga is the key to the present moment
Everyday when you roll out your mat is a completely new day. Some days you will feel relaxed and able to do all of the poses, but sometimes you will feel as stiff as your first day on the mat and won’t be able to go deep into any of the poses that you were doing the day before. And it can be incredibly frustrating, especially if that is your only reason for practicing yoga. Or perhaps you have been practicing meditation and have ‘reached’ a level where you can sit in stillness for 20 minutes. And then you have a bad week. You are feeling sad, you are feeling doubtful, empty, full of thoughts. You may feel that all of your time meditating has been for nothing. The fact is, you cannot accumulate time in meditation. Every time you practice is a fresh moment and will present a different experience to you, if you can just watch and allow all to be as it is.
This is true yoga and meditation. Not thinking about what you did last week, or how good you felt yesterday, but how terrible and anxious you feel now, and what does it all mean? and what have I done wrong? and why isn’t it working? It’s creating the time and space to observe and see whats arising within the space that is you, right now. The thoughts and thought patterns, the areas of tension in the body, the depth of the breath. Watching it all without judgement. Not rejecting the things you think you shouldn’t feel, because you only want to feel good. Life offers us a huge range of emotion and feeling, of joy and sorrow, of tension and relaxation. It will come and go whether we accept it or not. But rejecting it only makes it harder on ourselves. Creating space for ALL of your experiences, watching without judgement and allowing what is is the real practice.
So if you need a goal to works towards, let it be this. Let every day’s practice help you to experience the aliveness of your body and your breath in the moment. To let go of what you can let go of right now. Move, breathe and stretch today’s tensions away without judgement and ego, watching and allowing yourself to be exactly as you are today.
P.S To have a look at our yoga class schedule, click here,
If you have any questions about yoga, or would like to book a spot at a class, contact us. And please feel free to leave a comment below, I always like to hear from you : )