Goals. The word, as a Yogi, can sound counter-intuitive. There isn’t supposed to be goals in yoga. It is supposed to be about living in the moment and no judgment and no expectations. It is supposed to be non competitive.
So why do we then need goals? The quick and short answer is that things won’t improve and we don’t reach milestones or grow if we don’t have goals.
You may feel super motivated one day and can’t wait to get into a downward dog or tackle a challenging Kriya. However the next day you notice that you don’t want to do anything and barely even a two minute breath practice is a struggle.
By having goals or having some sort of focus can help you stay on track and develop this as a lifestyle rather than a fad or a phase that you go through.
We often start a yoga class with an intention.
An intention is a much more softer word to use than goal.
It is more of a focus, a message to the universe of how you want your class to go and how you want to feel by the end of it. Your intention can be, ‘I want to feel connected’ or ‘I intend to accept myself where I am’. They’re just a lot softer rather than the hardwired goals to achieve a five second headstand today.
So looking at intentions rather than goals is a more yoga way to look at it.
That is how you can approach your goals by giving you focus. To land you to where you are at ‘right now’ and what needs to be focused on ‘right now’.
Yoga is a practice that meets you where you’re at. So however you’re feeling one day to the next will have an influence on your yoga practice. There’s nothing worse than, when you’re not feeling great, don’t even finish the class or finished the session early.
In yoga, you accept where we you are at. Yoga will always meet you where you are. And that’s the beauty of being able to notice how things are changing for you, how things are developing and how you change and grow as this process takes hold.
Having your journal nearby is a great little tool for helping you move closer to your goals and using your intentions.
The first thing you want to get clear on is why are you wanting to do yoga or what is it that’s is getting you on the mat today?
Is it that you require less stress in your life? You want to sleep better, or lose weight, or improve your self care. Or perhaps strengthen your mindfulness practice.
It might be all of those. Get some clarity on exactly what you want to achieve from your yoga practice. This will be different from day to day. Every time you approach your yoga, check in and see, what is it I intend to get out of my practice today?
You will want to check in emotionally and physically. They are two very different things. Notice how you are feeling emotionally. How are your emotions manifesting themselves physically? If you’re feeling anxious or nervous about anything, that may well manifest itself as butterflies in the tummy or that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach. Some days when you’re feeling excited, you might have a feeling in your chest.
When you’re feeling numb, which to be honest is a good 75% of the time, and your body is neutral, then that is absolutely fine. Perfect because you’re recognizing that today you’re in a neutral state.
Check in with yourself, emotionally, check in with yourself physically, before you start your yoga practice. This way your intention will reveal itself to you.
Always have your journal with you to do those at the beginning of your practice. When setting yourself a big goal, i.e. to lose a certain amount of weight, or you want to be sleeping nine hours a night, make sure that your goals are measurable.
Make notes of how you are improving and how yoga is assisting you in reaching those targets. Whether it’s weight loss ,more sleep, meditating for five minutes every day, being more productive in your life, have a way of being able to measure those things. Because that will also assist you in seeing where you’re at.
Bear in mind to always be kind to yourself. It’s no good setting yourself a goal that is so far off, it’s impossible. When you don’t achieve it, you feel rubbish. You need to be setting yourself goals and achievements that are manageable. You want to achieve them to inspire you to continue, and to give you purpose and reason to do your practice today.
When you reach yoga goals, gift yourself, congratulate yourself, celebrate yourself. This will inspire you to keep going and set a new goal.
Remember, our spiritual journey is constant. You will never get ‘There’. The goalposts will move constantly. And this is why you must be kind to yourself because once you get to one point, there’ll be a new point that you want to get to. Once you can hold, I don’t know, a five minute forearm stand, you’re going to want to hold a seven minute forearm stand. Celebrate your achievements but keep that kindness.
So my points are here to help you move closer to your goals. Whether they be yoga goals or whether they be something else. Financial goals, a job, journal, your intention and your work.
Why do you need to achieve this goal?
What is your intention for today to get you closer to that goal?
Journal that out and check in with your body emotionally and physically pay attention to how you’re feeling while you’re practicing. That is taking you one step closer to your goal.
Jo Yoga is a Kundalini, Meditation & Children’s Yoga Teacher. Her passion is to assist you, a busy modern woman in living your life on purpose and having a more spiritual, self-aware existence. Through creating easily accessible yoga & meditations online for women everywhere, she will guide you to self care, putting YOU first and establishing connection through this community. Kundalini Connections is the online library studio full of Yoga Classes, Kriyas, Mediations and Rituals to support you on your journey daily.Instagram – @joyogauk
Facebook – www.facebook.com/jomoulesyoga
Website – www.realjoyoga.com
Newsletter – https://realjoyoga.lpages.co/newsletter-sign-up