Our goals form the blue print for our lives. As kids we think of growing up and becoming so and so. Once we become so and so our goals change to the kind of cars or houses we want. The kind of person we want to be with. More common goals are to lose 10 kgs before year end, learn how to swim, run a marathon, travel the world, complete a reading challenge.
My first ever goal in life was to be Nancy Drew when I grew up. As I grew up I became more laid back and wanted to spend all my time reading and writing. My only goal in life was to spend as much time as possible reading as many books as possible. I also wanted to write books for a living. I finally ended up writing code for a living and that period of my life is conspicuous by a total lack of goals to aspire to. Everyone else wanted promotions, raises, onsite trips. People were flaunting cars, homes and eligible marital prospects. One day I realized that if I didn’t start working out I would have nothing to wear since I had steadily outgrown many things in my closet. That led me to the gym and then to yoga class.
As with most yoga students my first goal was to touch my toes. I remember that I was elated when I first did that. Even more when I touched my forehead to my knee. Today I cringe at how bad my form was then. Lots of people want to do the headstand and handstand. Studying at RIMYI has made a lot of my goals accessible to me (Kurmasana for one).
As an Intermediate 2 practitioner you are expected to be comfortable in many variations of sirsasana. You’re upside down in all classes (unless you’re menstruating), so headbalancing is crucial for an Iyengar practitioner. There are bound to be many who topple over or come down for a little break. When this happens you hear everything from ‘Shouldn’t have had so many modaks’ to ‘You call yourself teachers!!!’ to ‘In Intermediate 2 for so long and still not able to sustain?!’ Usually accompanied by a barrage of Marathi.
When I was here last year I used to fantasize about holding the headstand for 10 minutes. I knew that was a prerequisite for the next level. I’d heard of classes where students have been upside down for 20 minutes at a stretch. All of last month I’ve worked on steadily increasing the amount of time I stay up. I started with 5 minutes and then held it for 8 minutes for a while. Then this morning I decided to be a little more adventurous and see if I could hold on for 10 minutes. And I did!!!
Needless to say, it felt amazing!!! Achieving these goals only prove that with only a little bit of discipline and smart work you are closer to your goals than you think. Even goals that are mere fantasies for you right now.