The Goal of Yoga
(No, it's not handstand)
The yoga pose is not the goal.
Becoming flexible or standing on your hands is not the goal.
The goal is the create space where you were once stuck.
To unveil layers of protection you've built around your heart.
To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates.
To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, . . . well, you.
Shift your focus and your heart will grow.
My mother who was recently reacquainted with yoga after about a forty year hiatus, shared this post with me she found on Facebook. She doesn't quite understand it, yet, but she sensed I would. Guarded, hypervigilant, barely breathing and wound up tight, I first got exposed to yoga just shy of turning 21. I haven't stopped practicing since. Over two decades later, the practice continues to inform me from the physical to the subtle to the meditative, to the deep awareness, uncovering, disarming and acceptance of me. I fell into teaching group classes originally by happenstance across the MidWest and intentionally in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly fifteen years. I stopped after feeling disenchanted with my ability to get this message (above) across to my students. It seemed most students were showing up for a workout and less interested in the emotional and psychological journey. I can appreciate and teach a strenuous physical class to a group, but it is the healing journey that is of primary interest to me. It was challenging as a teacher in these crowded classes, to reach the individual in their unique process as they struggled or eased with their mind and body from posture to posture. Their truth, their wounds, their trauma, their emotions, their trials were evident in their bodies, in their breath, in their reactions to a posture. I could see it more than they themselves were aware. This witnessing, plus my own healing journey diving inward, were largely my motivation to pursue a Masters Degree in Somatic Psychotherapy. Today, I often use yoga asanas in individual Somatic Psychotherapy sessions. This allows the safe space to explore and dialogue with the physical sensations, stuck places, the emotions encapsulated in the tissues not to mention the limits we might place on knowing and accepting ourselves. In the slowing down, paying attention and letting go of the getting to a perfect handstand, we reveal ourselves to us.
This is where I share MY TRUTH.... authentically, some of my thoughts, inspirations and insights that might be of service for whomever has interest and need.