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The Effort Is the Goal


During a recent yoga class, I read a passage from The Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says this to Arjuna: "You have the right to your actions, but never to your actions' fruits. Act for the action's sake. And do not be attached to inaction. Self-possessed, resolute, act without any thought of results, open to success or failure. This equanimity is yoga." To the modern American mind, this idea of non-attachment to results can seem confusing or even pointless. We are trained in the U.S. to accomplish and to achieve. Why would we work if not to buy things? Why would we go to school if not for a better job? Why would we exercise if not to have a better body? Why would we eat healthy if not to lose weight?


However, non-attachment to outcomes is at the center of pretty much every philosophy of happiness. If we are doing something for the sake of a goal, rather than for the sake of doing the thing itself, we lessen our ability to enjoy life. If the purpose of whatever we're doing lives in the future and not now, then contentment, happiness, and feelings of accomplishment live in the future as well, and never now. It's no wonder, then, that the U.S. ranks so low on world scores of happiness, huh?


Likewise, the goal of yoga is to do yoga. The goal is not to do more complicated poses or to have a more fit body, nor is the goal even enlightenment. The results of a yoga practice are not really our business: the goal is only to practice yoga. In my classes, I see many yoga students struggle with this because the concept is so foreign to them. They fight with their egos that want them to have the same practice or the same body as a person across the room. That robs these students of enjoying the efforts of their own practice.


Think of it this way: it is not the fruits of our labor that matter. It is the labor that matters. And the point is this: if I ask one thing of you, friends, it is that you learn to enjoy your lives more. By doing that, all things we truly need will be there.

 

UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS:​​​​

  • May 19, 6:30pm @ Força: Craft Beer and Hot Yoga Night

  • May 25, 6:30pm @ Força: Myofascial Release Class

  • June 25 from 9-11am @ Força: Handstand Workshop

UPCOMING MUSIC MONDAY CLASSES:

5/16 Purple Rain, The Album (with Yoga Nidra)

5/23 Mumford & Sons

5/30 The Doobie Brothers

6/20 Biggie & 2Pac

6/27 Post Malone

7/4 Sia.

 

New Yoga Leggings! Tested in Class by Yours Truly!


 

May you be happy. May you be well.


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