The most recent, February edition of the Yoga Journal magazine was really interesting. Well, Yoga Journal is always interesting, but let me qualify the first statement, it’s all to do with goal setting.
At first, whilst reading the magazine I felt an article about goal setting was at odds with the rest of the content. It talked about ‘goal setting to help you climb higher’, and suggested ways in which to set goals by, for example, setting timelines and quantifiable targets to aim for. To me, this didn’t seem very ‘yoga’. I also felt yoga was less about ‘goal setting’ and more about learning to accept where we are at any given moment in time – and to live in that moment. But I read on.
Thankfully two further articles in the magazine then helped me to realise the true value of goal setting.
A piece by Elena Brower discussed ‘believing in yourself’ and an article by Sally Kempton addressed what to do with negative thought tendencies, and how to face up to them. I did start to wonder, how can we serve others, whilst trying to reach our own goals, and face up to our negative voices, all at the same time?
But maybe that’s the point!
By serving others we learn to serve ourselves too. Then we can set goals. And if negative thoughts pop up to try and disrupt the goal-achieving-process, your newly found trust (in yourself) will give you the strength to face up to those negative ‘shadows’ – and move forward along the road of serving others, serving yourself, setting goals, and reassessing them – continuing the cycle.
Elena Brower writes:
“When you infuse your intention with the spirit of service, you learn to believe in yourself.”
Then Ella Lawrence states:
“Nothing’s set in stone except your commitment to achieve the success you are capable of.”
Rounded up by Sally Kempton with:
“It is only when we come to know our own depths… that we become truly trustworthy to ourselves and others. That’s when we can authentically choose to live as our best Self.”
This philosophy is not only applicable to yoga but also running. The idea is not to loose sight of the life around us, just because we are trying to reach our goals. The idea is to really see the full life we are living: see our true tendencies and face up to our fears. Then we start goal-setting, and whether it means aiming to move into certain asanas more gracefully or training to run a 5km, we should be patient, and not afraid of failing, changing or moving the goal posts, or even achieving, and ultimately:
“shine through all our moments and all our days.” Sally Kempton
Thanks Yoga Journal!
For more yoga guidance see the livemag section of Yoga Journal.