Yoga and Life: Joy in Content

When the ultimate goal of life is to strive for future success, it is wise to acknowledge your present achievements.

The insatiable need to achieve the next goal, to obtain that exhilarating “prize” that is only inches away from your grasp, or the desire to defy the odds. This is the path of the high achiever, individuals who were born with an avid yearning to be the best. Individuals that live each day facing a fierce internal competition, in which success and self-improvement are the only acceptable outcomes.

Physical and mental exertion must be controlled, even if just for a moment on the mat. Lie down on your back on your yoga mat. Extend your arms out to your sides, open your palms toward the ceiling, and let the back of your shoulders melt into the floor. Extend your legs long on the mat or rest a bolster under your knees.  Release all tension in your body and breathe. Softly inhale through your nose and exhale through an open mouth. Observe the breath. Notice as your chest rises and your heart opens as you inhale. Linger in your exhale, give your limbs the opportunity to release into the earth.

Use this moment to let go, let go of the constant need to control and strategize. At this moment there is no need for planning, your only goal is to find peace in the present moment and allow yourself to take comfort in where you are right now. As you breathe in Savasana, you will be confronted with your natural tendencies. Random thoughts of your “to-do” list, the next big meeting, or any unresolved issues that lay in waiting will come to mind.

Acknowledge the mental distractions that cloud your mind as you inhale and use your exhale to slowly release them. Practice this strategy for five to ten minutes, after a while you’ll notice that the distractions will become less powerful and less frequent. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where all that’s left is your breath, a comforting breath that leads you to a peaceful place. A respite in which you no longer feel the pressure to achieve, where you have permission to find joy in content.

-Namaste

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