For most of you, Yoga may seem like a cool way to bend and twist your body for greater flexibility and fitness. Seeing advanced teachers and long term practitioners may entice many people to start Yoga with hopes of attaining slim, tender and toned body. But Yoga done without the intention of true inner peace uses only the body’s outward appearance as a goal in itself and has more in common with sports and fitness than
with traditional Yoga.
Being a sports enthusiast myself, it is indeed very tempting to create an exercise routine based on Yoga techniques to stretch and strengthen the body. But the deeper benefits of Yoga cannot be separated from the true intention behind it – the goal of inner peace.
Body and Mind are two sides of the human spirit. Of course, you will get a strong, flexible body if you practice Yoga. But, if your focus is exclusively on attaining a Yoga pose perfectly, then you will miss the real gift of Yoga. The physical transformation attained through Yoga is not the result of toning techniques, instead it occurs when you dissolve deep rooted psychological and emotional patterns, your body changes as your mind evolves. Yoga asks your mind to be strong, steady and single pointed.
There is a time when all Yoga practitioners confront injuries, obstacles and pain that prevents them from experiencing the ease of life. Whereas in real life, we have work, family and general activity to distract us. In the silence of Yoga, we only have our mind, body and breath to lead us directly into our own inner self. Life is a kind of university where each of us are enrolled in various specialisation based on our own interests and needs. Yoga is a gifted program. On the Yoga mat, lessons are magnified. In the process of accomplishing an “impossible” pose, we tap into a part of ourselves that is beyond the physical. After we touch that place within ourselves, we are more likely to believe in ourselves when we face more impossible situations.
No matter how advanced you have become, there will always be poses and movements that will challenge you. Yoga shows you the way, but you must take every step of the journey yourself. Each challenging pose tests your limits and gives you an opportunity to transform your story from a tragedy into a hero’s journey. Because you alone do this daily, diligent work of your practice , you will know that you have played a vital role in your own transformation. This progress will not be measured in asanas perfection but in the knowingness that you have committed yourself to a more peaceful life. If you approach your practice with the perspective of attaining the perfect asana, sooner or later you will fail. It would be wrong to stop, quit or punish yourself at this point.
Moments of perceived failure are when most Yoga happens.
Yoga shows you how to truly believe in yourself!!!
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