The point is not the result. In our society, so much is placed on the external; how we look, what we achieve, what we produce....the result. In yoga, it's easy to fall into this trap too and place emphasis on the postures, how we look in the postures, how flexible we are, our ability to balance, how our body looks in the mirror. This is a normal part of being human in a western society, first world culture. But remember, the point is not the result. The point is the journey. The point is the process. Are you mindful in yoga? Are you tuned into your body? Were you able to stay present? What did you learn throughout yoga class about your mind and body? Were you able to feel grateful that your body takes you into these amazing postures rather than critical of your least favorite body part? Did you release tension?
Intention is a reoccurring theme on this blog but well-deserved, as it's so important to our life. Setting your intention to shift the point of yoga practice can help to shift this result-driven mentality, and support you to gain so much more from your practice. By focusing on the postures or calories burned, on the physical result only, you miss the opportunity to use the yoga studio as a means of practicing self-love, as a way to check in with yourself, to increase mindfulness and/or the mind/body connection, to decrease tension, to practice body acceptance, to shift the habitual messages you send yourself. Similarly by being an observer of how we practice yoga in class, we can learn what we need to change in our lives. If we are overly critical of our body, practicing gratitude for our body's ability to move us in and out of postures might be your yoga. If you exploit your body in yoga (force yourself into posture by exploiting the most flexible parts of your body) you probably exploit yourself in life and backing up, correcting alignment might be your yoga.
Set your goals and then focus on the process. Of course you want to have something to shoot for (results-wise) but set your goals and then remember that the process, in this present moment, is all you have control over. If you can shift your focus to the process in yoga and in life, you open yourself up to the possibility to feel more fulfilled along the way. Achieving a goal is such a short amount of time compared to all of the time we spend working towards our goals. Focusing on the process allows you to enjoy the journey time as well as the goal achievement time, and to use that time productively.