Fitness routine based on aesthetics feeds your ego, not your spirit. By increasing your ego, you actually become more vulnerable, more susceptible to the everyday occurrences that are out of your control. By feeding your ego, you ignore what you truly need in order to create something your ego desires. Consequently, you end up working against yourself and your goal of health, and you actually create more imbalance ...
... Originally, yoga was created to facilitate the stillness in order to emancipate the wisdom. Some still use it for this purpose. Beyond this, yoga is a tool or system created to facilitate balance. In order to facilitate balance, the imbalances need to be exposed and eradicated. This can be a totally possible yet challenging endeavor, and this is where we start losing people.
Unfortunately, many people don't seem to want to do the work necessary to create harmony. When you spill something on the floor, you clean it up, right? You don't want to live with that mess. Well, that's all yoga is designed to do: bring awareness to the mess and give you direction to help start the cleanup.
From the first step in yoga, you start feeling better simply because your house has just begun to become cleaner or less cluttered. The move toward harmony begins immediately. You don't need some blind faith that someday down the road yoga will enlighten you. The first class helps us quiet our minds and experience the peace beyond. This same first class helps us release some tension, which gives us a feeling of lightness, balance and connectedness. We've begun to restore the web.
As long as we approach our yoga practice by listening carefully to what the body needs and by moving away from any existing ideas of where our ego wants this body to be, our initial experience can be wholly satisfying....
The hardest part of the practice of yoga can be honoring our bodies and what they need in this moment. Too often we find ourselves slipping back into our old habits of goal orientation, self-criticism and re-activeness, which are the root of so much imbalance, disharmony, misery, and so forth. Goal orientation, which sometimes is expressed as "I'll be happy when," leads you away from the here and now. Looking outside yourself for happiness doesn't work. If you're not happy now, you won't be happy for long no matter where you go. Why? Because happiness, or wholeness, has to come from within. And wholeness comes with acceptance of Right Now! There will always be another place to go, so there is no such thing as getting there. As far as your potential for happiness is concerned, "You are there." Self-criticism leads us to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, worthlessness, and low self-esteem, as well as the criticism of others, which keeps us at each other's throat.