3 Yoga Steps for Achieving your Goals

If I ever feel that my goals are unachievable, difficult or just plain impossible, it is because my mind is cluttered and filled with distractions.  I now use the agitated or anxious mind as a trigger to practice more yoga, more sadhana.  The practice of Yoga sadhana is a de-cluttering of the mind.  It is a smoothing out of all wavering and agitation into a state of calm.  When the mind is calm, it manifests razor sharp focus that can be used to accomplish any goal.

“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” – Robert Brault, quotes from the Bhagavad Gita

It’s true.  Obstacles are not the issue.  Negative habits, samskaras (described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) stop us from achieving our goals.  Samskaras are easy, clear pathways, behaviors, emotions, relationships that we habitually take into limiting viewpoints and bad habits.

Yoga gives many techniques for clearing obstacles in the mind so that you can see the clear path to a higher goal.  Here are 3 steps.  There are many more.  But let’s start with 3.  Patanajali likes the number 5, so we’ll explore 5 steps in other posts.

1.  Clean everyday

A cluttered mind is often reflective of a cluttered environment.  The moment I clear the unnecessary objects from my house, office, car, environment, the lighter and more at ease I feel.  In the past I’ve found organization and cleanliness difficult and arduous.  With years of meditation and yoga, my environments have gotten cleaner.  Paper-work is more streamlined and organized.  I don’t keep old clothes or things in my closets.  I don’t buy too much food that sits around in my pantry or my refrigerator.

The other things I’ve cleaned out from my life are doing things that I don’t enjoy doing just to be polite or to accompany people who can’t go to a function alone.  I’ve also cleared out a lot of toxic and negative people from my life.  A lot of people feel that to be “nice” – one should entertain the garbage in others’ minds.  This is a clear path to a lesser goal of gossip, annoyance, agitation, distress and fear – and blocks one from attaining higher goals of enlightenment, peace and bliss.

2.  Meditate everyday

One hour in the IMG_6974morning and one hour in the evening is the best prescription I know for stopping and simply watching the mind.  This “witnessing” meditation is the hallmark of the philosophy of Yoga as described by Patanjali.  It is taught by modern day Yoga Gurus such as Shiva Rudra Balayogi, Amma Shri Karunamayi Ma and Gurus Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Ramamurti S. Mishra M.D., Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna.

During this hour, the meditator sits and simply watches the mind.  Yoga breathing techniques such as pranayama, mantra may be used – but even these eventually drop.

What happens is that the mind, when watched, simply clears.  There is a light within the mind that wipes away every thought, dust particle, attachment, desire and need.   This is the essence behind Yoga Illumined Studio’s philosophy – once the light dawns, then things fall into place.  And the path to achieving any of your highest goals of freedom and happiness lights up.  The pathways are clear.  The samskaras (negative habits) no longer have a hold on you.

3.  Watch your ego throughout the day with love

With morning and evening meditation practices as your anchor — you are more able to watch your own behaviors, conversations and relationships throughout the day.  And I must add that this must be done with utmost, unconditional, non-judging love.  Otherwise, it may simply be the ego watching the ego – an incredibly self-defeating and self-confidence annihilating process.  We want to build self-confidence and ease in the world.  You know the ego is no longer at play when judgment drops and love filled with peace is the observer.IMG_6890

Meditation puts the ego in its place – greater soul consciousness and God guide your movements rather than the desire for mere survival.  If you want to know what the ego is, it is the part of you who is most keen on surviving at any cost, the one who is afraid of death, the one who gets lonely and feels isolated.  We need the ego in this world in order to survive, yes, but survival for survival’s sake is still not our highest goals as humans, so we need to put it in its place in order to achieve our greatest potentials of peace and joy.

The most successful people in the world utilize their egos to uphold values that serve humanity’s greatest intentions and needs.  When you look at people who change the course of history, you can see that they simply USED the ego to bring about positive changes in the world.  Who is the one using the Ego?  This is the true Self.  This is the higher Self, the one who acts and lives with unconditional love as its very nature.  It is within all of us.  Differentiating between the Ego and the Soul is the life spiritual work of yoga.  It takes practice and love.

May these three steps help you light the path towards your highest goals and intentions  for presence, peace and happiness in life.  May the Inner Guiding Light always lead the way with love.

Om shantih om,

Sumukhi

 

 

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