I will never forget these words when I embarked on my first Yoga Teacher Training 3 years ago:
“You need to know your why.”
There are 1001 ways to teach yoga - from music selection to sequencing to cueing and tone...the list goes on.
You will be challenged, questioned, and outright disagreed with at times (I can tell you this from first hand experience). But if you know your why, your reason - you have confidence to stand firm on and can attract like minded people who have the same understanding.
At worst, you can find common ground and respect with people who use different tactics and who have different opinions since you can support your reasoning.
To broaden the scope a bit..when you boil it down - isn’t life just a series of “whys” over and over again? You may think it’s the events that are the most significant, but no - it’s the reasoning behind the events. The “whys” tell the story that is worth listening to, and in order to have meaning - you need to nail down your whys.
Your “why” is what defines you.
Now the “why” does not have to be some grand event or gesture. It doesn’t have to be super complicated nor does it need to impress anyone. But what it DOES need to be is vulnerable, authentic, connective.
You may pause and think “But I know my why!”
Pause and take a few moments to think about your why statements for the below:
I work my job because...
I go to the gym because...
I try and eat healthy because...
I read books and listen to podcasts because...
Some first things that may come up are:
Money, a chance to grow, great coworkers
I want to look good, I want to get in shape
It’s good for me
I love to learn more about the things I’m interested in
Which are all great things, and certainly are not invalid “whys”, but those are only small aspects to a much larger picture.
I invite you to really think about the deep vulnerable “whys” to the above, and then expand upon it. Include your relationships, friends, interactions with people, content you post online. What is it all for?
So the “why” for this post?
Well...the more you can attune to your “why” the clearer and more direct your life becomes! If something is out of line with your “why” it will stick out to you blatantly and abruptly, and that’s where the magic happens that allows you to GROW.
THIS is the why that carries you through life. Through the highs and lows to the passion and mundane. The “why” gives reason for you to always move forward and challenges you to continuously grow as a person.
My shallow why when I was 280 pounds was “I want to get in shape.”
“Oh I just want to look good, lose weight, and be fit” was my daily line and motivator for going to the gym.
And guess what? I didn’t get anywhere. I’d lose maybe 10 pounds, after some gym sessions and eating healthier, but I’d always yo-yo back up and endure this oscillation for years.
Working out to “get in shape” or to “look good” doesn’t cut it.
Like how often do you hear people yearn and want to be in shape and run the same story over and over again without getting anywhere?
If vanity was a true “why” and a great reason, then the entire world would be extremely fit. So we need to elevate that “why” to something that sticks.
Maybe it’s so you can set a good role model for your kids about what health really is.
Maybe it’s so you’re alive long enough to walk your daughter down the aisle.
Maybe it’s to prove to yourself that you are capable of anything you truly put your mind to.
Want to know my elevated “why”?
I wanted to be comfortable in jeans.
Again it’s not a fancy, mind blowing “why” BUT it was vulnerable to me. That’s all I wanted to do, to wear actual clothes again and to not be flat out embarrassed while only being able to fit in athletic shorts.
This was all put a piece (albeit and important piece) during my weight-loss and health journey.
I invite you to elevate your why and allow yourself to create the lasting, impactful changes in your life.