By Swami Nirmalananda
Yoga makes you more successful at anything and everything you’re interested in accomplishing. This means that yoga makes you better at getting what you want. This is because yoga improves 5 key attributes that contribute to your success in any endeavor.
Making Decisions: It’s easier to make decisions because yoga gives you clarity about what’s important. Instead of doubting whether A is better or if B will make you happier, your yoga helps you see the other factors involved, all of which also affect your happiness level. Beyond that, yoga frees you from the knee-jerk reaction, so your baseline is happier than it used to be, so you’re not depending on a specific outcome to make you happy. Thus, it’s easier to make decisions.
Follow Through: You have more stamina, so you can keep going even when you’re not getting an immediate payoff. This ability to follow through is key to success in your profession, in getting an education and even in relationships. You have to hang in there if you want something to work. In addition to the ability to stick with it, yoga frees you from self-doubt, so you’re not constantly undermining your own efforts with “What-ifs” and “If-onlys.” To move forward, in the direction you’ve decided on, and to persevere means you’ll see progress, even when it takes time.
Assessing Progress: Are you making headway? Yoga makes you able to assess your situation more accurately because you are better at perceiving the differences between where you started and where you are now. Signs of progress are rarely thunderbolts from the sky! They are more like the little green shoots of bulbs coming up in the spring. Can you spot them when they are tiny? They grow fast once you spot them. Similarly, once you see the earliest signs of progress toward your goal, you can easily monitor what’s happening.
Adaptability: When you can see how much progress you are making (or not), you can refine your approach. Yoga makes you more adaptable, which is related to being more responsive. With houseplants, you may discover than one plant needs more water than another, simply because of its location. You have choices: you can give it more water, you can move the plant, you can buy a watering device so it’s taken care of when you forget, or you could even get a different kind of plant. You are able to adapt more quickly, more easily and more effectively.
Are You There Yet? Instead of comparing yourself to others, yoga makes you able to look at yourself holistically. Not only do you want to succeed at what you’ve decided on, but you want to do this without undermining other important things in your life. Because of your yogic ability to follow through, you could keep going longer than necessary. Your ability to assess your progress gives you a 360o perspective so you can see when you’ve done enough. This might mean you refine your original goals, adapting them to the new reality you’ve created.
Of course, the New Year is an excellent time to reevaluate and to set your course for the upcoming year. Your yoga helps you with that process in every way. Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? This is how you decide what your life will look like and make it so.
OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo namah.
Again and again I bow to your inherent Divinity.
Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati leads Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram in Downingtown PA. An American yogi, she is an inspiring teacher with a loving manner and a great sense of humor. Before becoming a swami (yoga monk), as Rama Berch, she served the yoga community as the founding president of Yoga Alliance. Traveling and teaching nationally and internationally, she is authorized to initiate people into deep meditation through Shaktipat, as did Swami Muktananda, her own Guru. The Ashram website features extensive Freebies, including articles and audio recordings on the principles of consciousness as taught by the sages of India, as well as how to apply them in your life today.