Frederich Nietzsche said “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” If you practice yoga have you ever bothered to ask yourself why, what is the goal? Have you found the time to unlock the mystery of why you return to the mat? After years of practicing I continue to return to these questions. Not only are they valuable tools for rooting intention, they are also excellent gauges for progress on the path. Answering these questions aligns me more sweetly with my goals as well as the clear identification of the fruits of my labor. The process goes something like this.
What is the goal?
- To feel better.
What is feeling better?
- Feeling peaceful.
- Feeling calm.
- Feeling happy.
- Feeling unattached to the outcome.
- Being aware of my thoughts and choosing the good ones.
Why do you return to the mat?
- Because it feels good.
- Because I continue to find that as a result of the practice there is always more room.
- Because I enjoy arriving at the doorstep of the unknown and finding myself there.
- Because through the practice I identify what I am made up of; strength, courage, heart, love, intelligence, mindfulness, faith, trust, gentleness and a willingness to be guided by my innate ability to know when to surrender.
- Because I am committed to feeling better.
Over the years not much has changed. I continue to find that one question may open the door to another, like the identification of the meaning of what feeling better is for me. I recognize that my first intention when I began practicing was to feel better I continue to practice yoga with the desire to feel better. What is markedly different is that now I am patient with the process, and in my patience I am able to identify with more ease what feels good right now.
As we turn a new leaf on a new year I invite you to make you to take a stab at answering these questions for yourself. See if through the process of answering them you arrive at a sweeter calmness of mind. Giving yourself a why enables you to know the steadiness of a calm mind in the midst of the discomforts and disturbances of your life, and to quiet the mind is in essence to do the yoga. In answering such powerful and pointed questions like “Why?” you light a candle in the cave of the darkness of your clouded intellect, and illuminate your innate wisdom and conscious self (with a capital S).
With Love, Always, In All Ways, For Giving, In Joy,