When I ended up in a Yoga Teacher Training at 24 years old, I was asked in the first week to write down my purpose in practicing yoga. What? A purpose? Do I have a purpose? My beautiful friend and founder of It’s Yoga Firenze (the yoga company where I trained and I worked for 7 years in Florence), Michèle Anne Barocchi was smiling at me, asking: why do you want to practice?
I still have her voice in my mind saying “sometimes the language is not complete enough to describe a purpose, but for sure you can feel – how are you feeling right now after a yoga class?”
From that day on – I integrated in my life a new tool: clarifying a purpose behind every decision, project and relationship. It’s a lifelong process, full of steps forward and back.
Because when my WHY, my purpose is clear, I will behave from a place of clarity, integrity and authenticity. When the purpose is clear I develop a strong commitment to find time and space for my yoga practice everyday, without any excuses.
I find this question essential and non-negotiable if you are planning to build your own yoga practice at home. Before you decide what and how, ask yourself why. I often see lack of clarity as a strong resistance blocking the desire and commitment to practice every day at home.
In this blog I am super thrilled to share with you 3 steps to begin to clarify why you are stepping on the mat every day and the commitment attached to your purpose. There are a lot of ways in doing this, what I am choosing Non-Violent Communication tools in this specific moment.
Before going through this exercise, find a quiet space, your sacred space, light up incense, a candle or anything that makes you feel good, protected and concentrated. Take your journal and let’s begin.
As first thing I invite you to write down your definition of yoga. Despite all the descriptions you hear around and read online, spend time in clarifying what it means for you yoga, and how the practice is bringing benefits in your life. Please remember that this definition will change and shift with time, as we as human being change and shift with time.
1.Observation without evaluation. Where are you struggling right now in your life?
I invite you to soften connect to your heart and write down difficulties and struggles. Land your focus as if it were a leaf falling in a river, with the same gentleness.
If we don’t know (for now) what we want, realizing where we are struggling is a a great place to start. Spend some time with yourself reflecting and observing where your life seems contracted. Try to do it without evaluating, analyzing or judging where you are right now.
2. Feelings. How do you feel during or after a Yoga Class?
Nobody teaches us how to clarify what we want or why we are doing something. But as Michèle said to me, we can always connect to our feelings and use the body as an instrument to observe emotions and sensations. Close your eyes and recall with your mind a class you lately took. How did you feel after? Can you observe a transformation at your mind, body, heart or soul level? Can you see the street from a point A to a point B? Do you see the outcome from practicing yoga?
How do you feel when you don’t practice?
3. Wants&Needs. Based on how you feel during, after or in absence a yoga class, what do you want or need from your yoga practice?
A want is a desire for something, is something we want to achieve and put in place, in action. A need is not-negotiable – it means that without that specific need that specific relationship can’t really take place. As sometimes we mix the two, think about a want as a goal you want to reach and the need as the beginning, basic and not-negotiable conditions to reach that goal. Without those conditions you can’t reach the goal.
Now read again what you wrote. Can you see a pattern of words? Can you already read through the line your wants and needs? Is it your purpose already clear?
Definition: Yoga for me is to be present with myself and the events of life in a mindful way.
Observation: since the pandemic has started I often wake up with thoughts and feelings of depression and anxiety.
Feelings: my energy is below my shoes, my body is tight and I am distracted from the noise I hear from the outside. Stressed by the vortex of my mind.
Needs and Wants: As my struggle is my lack of energy and concentration I need to uplift my energy because I want more vitality and focus.
In this moment of my life my PURPOSE behind my yoga practice is to be present and mindful with myself so that I can use the practice as a tool to uplift my energy, find concentration, live my life fully and keep breathing in uncomfortable situations.I am committed every morning to step on my mat, move&breathe, land in my body and soften the vortex of my mind.
My WHY is clear, my COMMITMENT is strong.
These 3 steps can take a while but they represent a beginning. If you need help and want to go through this exercise together, I am here for you.
I am available to meet via zoom, whats app or in person if you need even more clarity or support in practicing this.
I am 100% present for you, every step of the way.
Next Friday, 13rd of November at 15:00 I will lead a live meditation on Facebook in finding your purpose and commitment in your Yoga Practice at home. Connect to Facebook here:
I prepared a printable PDF worksheet to guide you through this process, click the button below !
Here are the links of the association and beautiful souls quoted in this blog:
It’s Yoga Firenze
Michèle Anne Barocchi
Non Violent Communication Center