Well this is a tricky one to ponder today. Is having goals for your yoga practice a good or a bad thing?
Answer, it depends…
There’s a big buzz about living in the ‘now’, being present in the moment so you can appreciate it just as it is. Alongside this however is the lesser known idea in yogic tradition that there is no now without momentum. Now is constantly in motion, flowing forward. If you aren’t moving forward you are stuck in the past.
To truly experience joy we must be both content with where we are right now but remain open and unresistant to change and growth.
Setting a goal and reaching for it can be a means to getting on a particular path and walking it, as long as you stay fluid, understanding you don’t have to stick to this chosen path. In fact you don’t even have to get to an end point because maybe you find a different path you want to follow. In this way setting a goal is about stepping into your fear and finding the courage to keep moving.
Conversely setting a goal can take you out of appreciation for where you are and be a constant striving toward and endless craving for something other than where you are right now.
So should goals be part of yoga practice?
If your goal is set to expand your potential, without being rigid and set in stone then YES, to goals! If your goal setting serves to ramp up your feelings of inadequacy, or not good enough or you find you are just not loving where you are because it will be so much better when you are somewhere else then maybe there’s a little work to done.
Start by practicing gratitude and consciously choose to do your yoga practice just because you can. Without goals or expectation.
Remember when you were a kid and everything you did was for no other reason than the sheer pleasure of doing what you wanted? Tap into that little kid inside you and practice for the shits and giggles! There is a tricky path to be walked between evolution and appreciation. Find balance between momentum and gratitude so you can live in your full potential.