So March is quickly approaching, and we’re heading out of winter and into Spring. For many of us winter is a time that we slow things down, become introspective, and take inventory of our lives over the past year. As is tradition, we often start the year off setting resolutions, but for many people this can be more harmful than it is helpful. Setting lofty expectations of yourself and then not following through, sets you up for disappointment and can sometimes actually be a step backwards in progress towards the person you ultimately want to be.
Yoga can be an incredible tool to help you practice setting goals and achieving them. The key to accomplishing the larger goals that we envision for ourselves is to break them down and take them step by step. In order to achieve balance in a handstand there are several things you must first work on in order to get there; building up core strength, opening up flexibility through the hamstrings, even paying attention to the smallest details like the way you engage through the hands and fingers in downward facing dog can help prepare you for the ultimate upside down inversion.
Achieving your goals rarely is a result of blind luck, or even mindless repetition. Mindfulness, self awareness, and the ability to learn as you grow is essential. Whenever I’m feeling down, or a little bit lost or off track, I set the intention to do one thing each day that I feel proud of. This can be anything, maybe it’s doing something creative, or reading a chapter from that book I’ve been meaning to get to, or reaching out to an old friend. Whatever it is, the act of setting this one simple goal and accomplishing it makes taking on the larger things that I need to take care of seem much easier to tackle.
Yoga teaches us that with practice, and with patience comes progress. Perhaps the first step to achieving your goals is just starting each day off from a place of intention, taking things step by step, and allow yourself to trust and enjoy the process.