Inner Peace

Imagine making inner peace the only goal of your life.  How might things change for you then?  How might it lead you to take different routes and make different choices?  What things would you do; what would you avoid?  What leads you towards your goal; what pulls you away?  Which are the things that seem to bring you inner peace, but really only bring temporary pleasure or distraction?

If you make inner peace the only goal of your yoga practice, it transforms it into what it was originally intended to be: a method of finding peace, fulfilment and contentment.   It helps you to choose your teachers wisely and to practice at home in a way that brings you inner benefit, rather than outer glory.  Your search for inner peace will lead you away from pain and towards ease - in your body and in your mind. 

But making inner peace your goal is not an easy choice; it wouldn't all be plain sailing.  Making inner peace your aim is a challenge:- it might cause you to look at your job and whether or not it brings you peace and fulfilment (or positively hinders it); it might cause you to look at your relationships with other people and ask which ones help you to find your way to wholeness, and which ones bring only depletion of your energy.  You might have to let go of some things that you have been carrying around with you - a sense of lingering guilt, perhaps, or an inability to forgive someone who has hurt you; you might have to give up on the idea that you are not yet good enough and accept that of course you are; you might have to let go of some ideas you have about what your life was supposed to look like and who you were supposed to be.

Choosing inner peace might make you prioritise your time differently - doing less of what you think you ought and more of what you think you need.  There may be people around you who will not understand your new way of living.  Some people find it hard to adjust to change in others, or to adapt to people who choose differently.  In short, you might not be able to bring everyone you love with you, and this can be a scary prospect.  If you choose inner peace as your goal, you will need to be steadfast and you will need to be kind.

And choosing inner peace is not a kind of numbing to the things in your life that are not right.  You do not achieve inner peace by packing away your feelings, desires, personality and individuality (whatever your thing is) in order to accept the way things are.  Accepting the way things are by force of will and by attempting to numb yourself to the niggling doubts that exist in your mind is not choosing inner peace - it is merely choosing to learn to put up with things.  This is quite a different thing and I don't think it leads to inner peace.

But I can't think of anything that I want more than inner peace - happiness, health, wealth, energy, family, careers, people... all these things come and go and, my goodness life is difficult sometimes, but inner peace... inner peace is ease in your own skin; inner peace is looking after yourself and giving love to others, whoever they are and whatever they are doing with their lives; inner peace is living without judgement; inner peace is forgiveness and letting go; inner peace is sleeping when you need to sleep and working when you need to work and moving with grace through this world.

Every day; every time you have to make a decision or a choice you could ask yourself which option increases your inner peace and which one depletes it and see where it leaves you.  My guess is that it will leave us all in a much better, more content, more energetic, more fun place where interesting things happen.


  1. Inner benefit rather than outer glory - I like that, however I was just thinking that the yoga magazines I have seen/bought in the shops seem to veer toward outer glory? The photographs show the most flexible people depicted in the full posture; rather than someone who isn't that flexible but is in the "right" level of that posture for them? Maybe I need to look at other magazines?! v.


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