If you have been practicing yoga for a while you have likely tried various styles or types of practices and have some understanding that yoga is not a one size fits all practice. If you are new to yoga this is a good thing to learn right off the bat.
As a yoga therapist, when I hear of health care professionals recommending yoga for various conditions I have a mixed reaction – one is wonderful, great, the benefits of yoga are being recognized!!! – the second is but wait not all yoga classes would be a good fit for a person with that condition, I hope they find one that helps.
The practices of yoga are vast, including complete stillness, meditation, restful practices, breath practices, the study of philosophy, and yes physical movement and postures. The vastness of yoga reflects the various needs and natures of people. Each individual is unique, and over time the needs of an individual will also change – the practices you choose to do should fit with what you need in your life at the moment.
If you find you are not getting what you are looking for out of your practice, you are looking to begin practicing yoga, or you find it hard to commit to practice, it may be a good time to do some reflection and set your intention. What benefits do you want to get out of the practice, and what will motivate you to stay committed.
**Join the Whole Soul Self-guided Mini-retreat Challenge to receive worksheets and seven 20-30 minute video practices to help you move through the process for aligning your practice with intention & purpose. Complete the challenge July 25 – August 2, then join a live session for Challenge participants on Monday, August 2 at 6pm EST.**
Let’s Talk About Purpose
Yoga teaches that we all have purpose – most people however will go through periods of time not knowing what their purpose is – one way to connect with your purpose is to identify your passions.
I just came across this quote, which sums up why purpose and passion is important – “Passion is your compliance tool, find a way to love the journey” ~Jill Coleman. I just completed a workout challenge offered by Jill, which I likely would not have completed if the challenge was not in line with my passion around wellness (and adventure) and my purpose of sharing these things with others.
To explore you passions and purpose, take some time to reflect on the following questions.
- What brought you joy in the past?
- What brings you joy now?
- To who or what are you of service?
- How do you wish to be of service?
Creating Wellness Goals
N0w, how does your wellness effect your ability to connect with joy in life and/or your ability to be of service to others?
What areas of wellness might you wish to focus on so that you can make the most of this life?
Some examples may be – agility, so that you can play with your grandchildren – strength, so that you can climb that mountain – balance, so that you can go about day to day life without a fear of falling – mental focus, so that you can live with more peace in the present – improved sleep, so you have the energy to do the things you love.
Yoga can have so many benefits, identify the top 3 – 4 wellness goals that focus on the benefits you would like to realize through your practice and how these benefits will help you live a more fulfilled life.
Now create an intention that you can use to remind yourself of why you are practicing – perhaps something like “I practice consistently, so that I may (fill in your purpose or passion)”.
Align Your Practice
Once you know your goals, then it is time to find the practices that will help you move in the direction of those goals.
We have created the Self-guided Mini-retreat as a tool for exploring some practices and reflecting on how each type of practice may benefit you.
The Mini-retreat provides seven stand alone practices for you to explore and reflect upon. Each practice is 20 – 30 minutes, and includes a list of benefits that you might find if you were to do the practice regularly, recommendations on how frequent to practice are also included.
Working one on one with a yoga therapist is another way that you can work to identify the practices that will align with your wellness goals and support your purpose. I would be happy to work with anyone interested in exploring in this way. Feel free to reach out to schedule a time to talk and check out information about yoga therapy here.