Constant Improvement – A Yogic Formula For Success

Constant Improvement and Yoga

Constant improvement is one of the things I find most useful about a regular yoga practice. That is, if you practice appropriately over time, you will experience constant improvement.  This constant improvement then seems to expand into every aspect  of life.

I was recently attending a mastermind meeting in London. The leader of the mastermind, Moe Nawaz, was trying to get us to understand the process of growth that would be required if each of us was going to achieve our business goals. Tony Robbins calls the process CANI – an acronym for Constant And Never-Ending Improvement. The Japanese have a word, Kaizen, meaning “change for the better” that is applied on a daily basis in many businesses. They attribute their post WWII business success to this concept of continuous incremental improvements.

During the meeting, Moe referred to a book called Mastery by George Leonard. In the book, Leonard explains that mastering Aikido involves periods of high learning curve followed by plateaus and that mastery requires continuing to practice through the plateau. He uses Aikido because he is an Aikido master, but the concept applies to most things in life.

Yoga is a great example of this concept. The obvious way to think about constant improvement in yoga is to think of working on a posture over time. First you learn the shape of the pose. Then you start to learn specific points about alignment. Next you might be lucky enough to have a teacher that understands how to convey the sense of energy moving through the body in a well-aligned pose. Then you might begin to work on creating even more space through control of the breath, etc, etc, so on and so forth. It can go on forever.

However, I prefer to actually take a look at the philosophy behind this because then you can use it in all aspects of life and not just on the mat. After all… someday you will walk away from the mat for the last time. What then? Will you stop with the constant improvement? I should hope not.

One of the great clues to the idea of constant improvement can be found by what is left out of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

“What is it?” you ask…

Well, there is no place in the yoga sutras where Patanjali tells you what to do. As a matter of fact – telling you what to do is avoided continuously. Instead, Patanjali tells you again and again that “if you have this thought… this will be the result.” Or “if you take this action… this will be the consequence.” In other words, Patanjali clearly understood human nature and he knew that most students of yoga, even serious students, would continue to think, say and do things that would lead them astray. He accepted that. So he simply let’s you get on with it but also let’s you know there will be consequences. Kind of like a really good parent or a really good teacher.

What’s the end result? Constant improvement.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook Comments:

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed

Yoga Books…

Brain Training…

Home Biz Team Building…