It’s good to have a goal in mind but don’t get too hung on it

Just before the New Year I was taking some yoga sessions at the “yuva veer” camp of the Chinmaya mission. The youngsters were eager aspirants on the spiritual path and had committed to serving the mission for 20 months after their four-month residential training. The young women in the camp jumped up when they heard the word “yoga” and asked me if I could help them loose weight. Once again I was faced with the most common expectations attached to yoga.


Not wanting to disappoint the girls, I told them that it was a positive side effect of practicing yoga. Not the goal. Whatever our sankalpas (resolutions) yoga will help us move towards it. So we have to be aware of the sankalpas we create. The sankalpas that the rishis or researchers, as I prefer to call them, recommend, is going back to our true or original nature. Our original nature is sat (truth/ultimate reality) chit (pure consciousness) and anandam (bliss).

Nowadays the sankalpas or resolutions are recommended to us by various other sources, a major contributor being the media. Everyone is scrambling to fitness centers to look like supermodels. Of course, life is not worth living if we don’t possess the success or coolness thrust by the latest bestseller or movie.

Living others’ dreams
Even before we realize it, these media created resolves, have infiltrated our psyche. We crave to be perfect, at least externally and strive to live another ones dream. This undue pressure will only breed insanity. So we must learn to create sankalpas that help us retain or move towards our original sense of sanity and stability. To become who we truly are step by step. Such a kalpana or conscious dream is in tune with sat or the ultimate reality. We need to create sat kalpanas. There is nothing wrong in visualizing a beautiful body and creating it. In fact a yogic body is beautiful. It is also an integrated body, where the body, emotions and mind are in harmony. When there is harmony there is joy, not denial and unhealthy competition. Unhealthy competition causes mental and physical imbalances. One of the boys at the camp remarked, “The girls are torturing themselves, and are not eating. Yet they have not lost much weight. However the boys eat well, play well and have managed to loose more weight and have flat stomachs.” So enjoy yourself as you create your harmonious reality. Keep the goal in mind but don’t get too hung on it. Breathe deeply so you have space to grow. Sit firmly so you can ground. Sleep enough, eat sensibly and laugh heartily and things will fall into place. Before you know it you would have materialized your positive visualizations.