Mountain Yoga

The Goal.
“If I keep doing this pose, will my shoulder eventually land on the floor?”

Maybe. But the purpose of yoga is not to perfect the body. The purpose of yoga – the very definition of yoga – is the stilling of the mind. There are many texts describing different ways to do this. Hatha yoga, the yoga most well known in this country, uses poses and various other techniques to prepare the body and mind for stillness. Other yoga paths don’t concern themselves with the body at all, really.

What is the purpose of the Svaroopa® style of hatha yoga? The purpose is to open your spine. When you open the spine, everything opens: your eyes, your breath, your heart, and even your mind! This opening allows you, as Rama says, to “live more fully in the multidimensionality of your existence.” To be more alive.

When you wonder if your shoulder will ever reach the floor, you are distracted from the purpose of yoga, and you are aiming for a different goal. Your desire to measure your progress by your physical prowess in yoga is actually an obstacle to your ability to attain the real goal of yoga: the stilling of the mind.

The next time you are in rotated stomach pose, wondering when your shoulder will finally ease down to the floor, redirect your inquiry to a deeper, more internal place. Notice what is happening in your spine, in the core of your body. Lean into the support for your shoulder and allow your spine to open! When you let go of your desire for external achievement, you are more open to the goal of yoga: the experience of your true nature, which is bliss.

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