By Gopi Rao
There is a school of thought, within Yogic circles, which discourages the establishment of goals. You may have heard that teachers shouldn’t accept money, students shouldn’t compete, and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. While this is all well and good, this is the 21st century and living a life of being unattached to outcome is likely to get you fired from your job – if you still have a job.
People practice for all different reasons. Some people practice to get into shape, others do it to help eliminate stress. In regards to the question “Should Yoga practitioners establish goals?” the answer is often yes. Setting goals in Yoga can improve a person’s journey by keeping them focused. Achieving the goals can add to the sense of enjoyment that practicing brings. It can also help a person strive to evolve and reach higher goals as their practice evolves. Setting goals help to give purpose to the practice of Yogic methods.
Let’s just say for the sake of argument that someone starts Yoga to get into better shape. For many people, that goal means losing extra weight or inches around certain problems areas, including the waist. Some people may achieve this through Bikram or Hot Yoga classes. Bikram is a fascinating practice of Yoga that is practiced in a room set at a specific temperature (105 degrees and 40% humidity). The workout is two hours long and very intense. Hot Yoga is a little different than Bikram, with the differences being in room temperature and the number of poses. However, both of them encourage the body to sweat, which in turn can release water weight and toxins.
Of course, that doesn’t mean practitioners have to always rely on intense asana sessions in order to garner results. Another type of Yoga, called Hatha, is often good for stretching the body, establishing strength and gaining flexibility. It also uses meditation as a tool to help clear the mind and eliminate stress. All of those are common goals in practice as well. Establishing goals in life is common practice and setting goals within practice is certainly not unusual.
Yoga is also practiced just for the sheer enjoyment of it. It certainly is not always used as a means to an end, but knowing that it can be used to attain goals is certainly a positive aspect. For many people, the practice of Yoga is a way of life and can be a way for them to maintain harmony and balance within themselves.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Do you want to become a yoga teacher? See our selection of online yoga teacher training intensive courses.