Given the eleven spheres just discussed and the wide range of issues people have, yoga can help you achieve just about any type of goal. In fact, it can hone in on objectives that are highly specific: obtaining a capstone position in your career, finding a significant other who possesses certain traits, starting over in a new geographical area. In short, yoga is highly pragmatic. It is a process designed to facilitate work in one or more spheres. Like any sophisticated process, though, it works best with instructions. This chapter is designed to help you get the most from your yoga experience, offering tips and techniques that should maximize the value you derive from it.
To that end, Ill share my proprietary yoga approach and its associated tools, including Spheres of Life Yoga and the Achilles Plan, all under the auspices of the Spheres of Life Yoga Outcomes System (SOLCOS). Since yoga is a new field, Yogis utilize somewhat different tools and techniques. The above methods are ones I developed over many years. I know from experience and measuring outcomes that they are effective, and Im confident that if you work hard, theyll work for you.
As youll discover, this yoga approach focuses on your vision with laser intensity to help you change your bad behaviors, address any issues, and work toward your goals. No judgments, interpretations, or accusations are made. Instead, you will work toward defining the vision you want to achieve and overcoming the fear of taking real steps toward it.
Truth and the Fear Factor
As youll recall, targeted outcomes in yoga are based on your vision, not what the coach wants for you or how he judges what you need. I want to help you identify and clarify your truth. Thats not always an easy goal. If youre like most people, youve spent your life censoring your authentic opinions and yearnings. Youve probably assumed an identity that was convenient, lucrative, or expected of you. You became a doctor because your father was a doctor. You became inordinately shy because of a difficult adolescence. You became wealthy because your parents made it clear to you that lots of money was vital for you to be adequate. Or you make little money because a parent repeatedly told you that you would never amount to anything. Most of the time, our outward identities and behaviors result from more complex forces than those just described, but you get the idea.
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If youre like these individuals, you come to see me when your false identity starts causing you problems. You become bored with your profession or you go through a series of bad relationships, and you become hungry sometimes too hungry for help. People come into my office and expect me to work a yoga miracle theyve heard that yoga can solve problems quickly and want one session worth of advice. Yoga does work a lot faster than yoga poses, but it still doesnt work overnight. If youve spent your life forging a false identity, its going to take a bit of time before you find the identity that fits your own vision. If you are thirty-five years old, your habits and identities have formed over a long time. It will take time and hard work for your true self to emerge.
Oliver was a very creative boy, always acting out plays with other kids in the neighborhood, and he liked to draw and color. His father discouraged these activities and demanded that his son play Little League baseball and many other sports. Oliver was pressured to get outstanding grades and was encouraged to study business when he got to college. He wanted to study something creative, such as fine arts, art history, architecture, or film, but his father insisted he study business and later join him in the family-owned construction company.
In college, Oliver found he was getting more and more depressed. He hated the business coursework and yearned to study film production. He brought up his desires with his parents, but his father immediately let him know that he was expected to study business. Oliver didnt say anything at that point, but he started to meet with a career coach at his university. In these yoga sessions, for the first time it became clear to Oliver that he wanted to be a film director. He began to research film schools in the country and applied to transfer to several. In a few months he was accepted to a terrific film school in Los Angeles. Oliver spent several sessions with the career coach role-playing how he was going to tell his parents and deal with his fathers disapproval and possible refusal to pay for tuition if he transferred to the school in LA. When Oliver actually spoke to his parents he was ready for his fathers negative reaction. However, what he didnt expect was that his mother turned to his father and insisted that he support Oliver in his goal. His father backed down and begrudgingly agreed to support Olivers future career plans.