“The yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. Standing on your hands is not the goal. The goal is serenity. Balance. Truly finding peace in your own skin.” ― Rachel Brathen, Yoga Girl
Yoga and meditation help you to achieve a fit, healthy body. They can change your physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual health and can both be used to help you set and achieve goals. But let’s break this down: What actually is a goal? A ‘goal’ is described as a ‘desired outcome in the future’ and is something that you can work towards to achieve. Having goals in yoga can really motivate you as you unroll your mat to begin another session and achieving them fills you with self-satisfaction and the optimism that you can achieve even more.
Yoga is holistic and aims to link the body and mind of each person and connect them with their wider community. Practising yoga helps self-development, relaxation and brings many health benefits. Yoga is not simply an exercise sequence to be mastered but is a lifetime’s journey that is interwoven with meditation, and breathing techniques. Some say that the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve Nirvina.
When you first begin yoga and meditation, you will soon notice physical changes in your body and others in your mind. Your mind will feel more ordered and uncluttered and as a result of this, you will feel emotionally more calm and peaceful. Once you have achieved these changes, it is the perfect time to set yourself some goals for your yoga and meditation.
The goals that you are likely to set yourself will be ones that strengthen your core hopes and dreams. Never worry about how to choose your first goals because it is more than likely that your inner self will choose them for you.
When you practise yoga, breathing techniques and different postures used are perfect for encouraging ideas and thoughts. These of course will be strengthened by meditation. Your goals will be very personal to you and will be very different from those of the person on the yoga mat next to you.
Examples of goals include:
● To be peaceful
● To nourish your body perfectly
● To be strong both mentally and physically
● To love yourself
As you set your first goals, it is best to choose just a couple to focus on as too many are unattainable and can also clutter your mind. You may wonder whether it will be possible to work on your goals away from the peace and tranquillity of your yoga session. Yoga and meditation teach you how to focus and the good news is that it will become easier to focus and work on your intentions – no matter where you are and how busy your day is. There are no deadlines to achieve with yoga and meditation. Success comes when you achieve balance in your life and achieve peace.
As you develop your yoga, you may well find that you want to achieve certain physical goals, too. These could include developing the flexibility of a certain part of your body or mastering a certain movement. By setting yourself these physical goals you will find that you are really motivated to achieve them. For example, focusing on the least flexible part of your body for 4-6 weeks the difference you will see and feel will be surprising.
To achieve both internal and external goals is very empowering, but it does take commitment to achieve them. Attending a yoga class once a week with a good teacher is really great, but practising yoga during the days in between is important too. For some, doing yoga for 30 minutes every day makes a huge difference, whilst for others, a little yoga session for 5-10 minutes every couple of hours, through the working day is possible.
There are many different physical goals you can set yourself in yoga. Introducing a new yoga routine every few weeks can be very beneficial. If you find one posture particularly difficult, why not focus on it for the next four weeks – you will be impressed by how easy it becomes. Many people find that introducing a new pose every week is challenging and rewarding. There are thousands of different poses varying in difficulty and it is rewarding to practise a new pose that is quite difficult to achieve because it brings the warm feeling of satisfaction when you do!
As you widen your yoga skills, it is important to practise meditation as regularly as you can too. Whilst the benefits of yoga are very tangible, those of meditation are not – even though they are profound. It is really beneficial if you can meditate for just 20 minutes each day and this is another very positive goal to set.
One of the most beneficial goals can be to read a book about yoga and meditation over the next month as it will provide you with an important insight into the different philosophies behind them and no doubt as you read more, you will be tempted to add another goal or two to your list.