We all know that practicing yoga involves many physical and mental health benefits. But do you know what the ultimate goal of yoga is?
Whether you plan to practice yoga in the near future or you’re an experienced yoga practitioner, you might still have some doubts about the ultimate goal of yoga.
So, if you’re looking for reasons why you shouldn’t give up on your practice just yet, let’s reveal the truth about yoga! In this article, we’ll answer the question of what the ultimate goal of yoga is and introduce its major benefits.
What is the ultimate goal of yoga?
Let’s start with briefly explaining the mission of yoga in general.
Yoga is the union of the body, mind, and soul.
When we practice yoga, we try to focus on our breath, connect our physical and mental state with our thoughts, and bring our attention to the present moment.
This is the reason why yoga is often referred to as the practice of meditation in motion.
Even though it’s important to know what the ultimate goal of yoga is, there is no right or wrong way to practice it.
No matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, everyone can find their own benefits in yoga. It’s a practice that can be done by anyone, regardless of their age, fitness level or health condition.
But do you know what’s considered the ultimate goal of yoga?
Well, not surprisingly, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this question.
Some people believe that the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve the state of moksha. Others think that it’s more about self-reflection, relaxation, spiritual awareness, or just becoming a better person.
In either case, yoga helps us to gain self-knowledge, which allows us to become more compassionate, loving, and tolerant.
When we practice yoga, we become more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and actions. This leads to self-acceptance and self-love.
We start being more aware of our bodies and how they feel at every moment.
This helps us tune into our body signals when something isn’t right with it or when we feel that our body needs some support.
So guess what?
Personally, I believe that the ultimate goal of yoga is to improve the quality of life. And I’ll discuss this to provide more context a bit later.
And before, let’s discuss the other major goals of yoga to reveal its ultimate mission.
11 major goals of yoga
1) Achieve a higher state of being
Have you ever felt that practicing yoga helps you get closer to your inner peace?
The simple truth is that when we practice yoga, we become more peaceful. It’s not just the state of our mind that changes, but also our body and soul.
This is why we often feel that the practice of yoga helps us achieve a higher state of being.
And guess what?
According to experienced yoga masters, the ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve a higher state of being.
What does it mean?
Well, it means that yoga helps us to get to a state of mind that is closer to the one of an enlightened being.
When we practice yoga, we become more aware of our true self, which is a state of peace and love. It’s because yoga is a practice that helps us achieve a higher state of being.
When we practice yoga, we become more aware of our minds, thoughts, and emotions. This leads to self-acceptance and self-love.
Through self-reflection, we are able to see our weaknesses and imperfections as something that makes us human and not something to be ashamed of.
And through the practice of self-love, we are able to let go of the negative thoughts that often plague our minds and replace them with more positive and loving ones.
In other words, practicing yoga helps us to become more compassionate and loving toward ourselves.
So, if you’re practicing yoga with the purpose of achieving a higher state of being, you’re doing it right — that’s exactly what is the ultimate goal of yoga and what you should be aiming for.
2) Achieve the state of samadhi
Ever heard anything about the state of samadhi?
In simple words, it’s the state of an Absolute.
What does it mean?
When you’re in the Absolute state, there’s nothing that can disturb your mind. It’s a state of peace and tranquility.
And you know what else?
If you’re in the state of samadhi, not a single ego-generated thought or emotion can enter your mind and disturb you.
However, it’s not an easy state to achieve.
It requires a lot of time, effort, and practice of yoga. But once you achieve it, you can stay in the Absolute state for as long as you want to.
This is what is called enlightenment — when your mind is not disturbed by any thought or emotion.
And this is exactly what the ultimate goal of yoga is — achieving the state of samadhi and staying in the Absolute for as long as we want to.
And the good news is that it’s possible to achieve it through the practice of yoga.
When we practice yoga, we are able to reach a state in which our mind becomes calm and peaceful.
This is the result of deep relaxation, which helps us to have a clear perspective on things that are happening in our life at that moment.
So what happens if you achieve samadhi?
Well, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, when you achieve the state of samadhi, your mind and body become one with themselves — their union becomes so strong that they become inseparable from each other.
For example, when you’re practicing yoga in the flow or in a fast-paced class and completely lose yourself in it, you might experience what is known as “samadhi” — a blissful meditative state.
You’ll feel that your mind and body are no longer separate entities but rather one with itself.
And guess what?
This is exactly what is known as “samadhi” — to be one with oneself and with everything around us.
This means that when we practice yoga and enter the state of samadhi, we go beyond our physical self into the spiritual realm — into our true self.
And doing so is indeed the ultimate goal of yoga.
3) Develop self-acceptance and self-love
Did you know that having greater self-acceptance can improve your emotional well-being?
Believe it or not, as Srini Pillay, MD, a contributor to Harvard Health Publishing, proves, accepting ourselves has a significant positive effect on psychological and emotional well-being.
But hang on a second. How is this related to practicing yoga?
Well, it turns out that one of the main goals of yoga is to develop self-acceptance and love.
And by practicing yoga, we can achieve those states.
Not surprisingly, self-love is accompanied by lots of science-backed benefits, including the improvement of your overall health.
Just to name a few, studies have shown that those who are more self-accepting and loving are more likely to be healthier, happier, and even more successful in their career.
This is because they don’t let the negative things in life affect them as much. Instead, they focus on the positive things in their lives, and it makes them happy.
So how does yoga help us achieve self-love?
By practicing yoga, we can develop a strong sense of self-love because it helps us to accept ourselves for who we truly are.
When we practice yoga regularly and gain more awareness of our body, mind, and emotions.
We become more accepting of ourselves as well as everything that happens around us.
You love yourself as a person without any need to improve or change anything about yourself. Your soul feels pure, light, and peaceful during this state of being.
And this feeling doesn’t go away after practicing yoga for just one day or one week. It stays with you for as long as you live!
This means that if you have trouble accepting yourself and developing self-love, realizing the ultimate goal of yoga and practicing it might help you to achieve these goals.
4) Embrace the present moment
If you’ve been practicing yoga for some time, chances are that you’ve noticed how it can help you be more in the present moment.
After all, practicing yoga requires us to be aware of our body and mind, which inevitably helps us to become more mindful.
So what does it mean to be mindful?
Even though there are a lot of definitions of mindfulness, during my positive psychology classes, I’ve learned that mindfulness is about being fully aware of what’s happening in the present moment without being judgmental about the experience.
It’s also about being in the moment and dealing with it mindfully.
What’s more important, when we practice mindfulness, we can become aware of our emotions and feelings.
This means that by practicing yoga, we can actually become more mindful of our feelings. And as a result, we can be better at dealing with them.
For instance, if you’re angry about something or someone, you can use yoga to deal with this emotion in a mindful way.
And the good news is that by practicing yoga, you can easily develop mindfulness because it will teach you how to be aware of your body, mind, and emotions in a very deep way.
This is one of the biggest benefits of practicing yoga.
That’s why I believe that embracing the present moment can be the ultimate goal of yoga.
However, the problem for many people in today’s world is that they have a hard time focusing on what’s happening right now.
Instead, they’re always thinking about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
When we practice yoga, we learn how to be present in the here and now — enjoying every moment as it comes to us.
That way, we can be more aware of the moment we live in, which will help us to embrace it with mindfulness.
5) Increase energy levels
You know what?
The fact that yoga helps us achieve a higher state of being doesn’t mean that it helps us only spiritually. It also brings us a lot physically!
In fact, when we practice yoga, we can actually increase our energy levels and feel more energized.
How is this possible?
Well, there are two main reasons.
First of all, yoga helps us to relax and calm down. If you’re stressed out, you know that it’s hard to feel energetic.
But when you practice yoga, you can deal with your stress in a healthy way and ultimately become relaxed.
You may even experience an energy boost! This is why I believe that practicing yoga regularly can help us stay energized for longer periods of time.
But this is not all.
The second reason is that when we practice yoga regularly, we can increase the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream.
This means that if the oxygen level in our blood increases, we will be able to have more energy. It’s like breathing fresh air – if the air is clean and pure (which it is when we practice yoga), then our body will be able to breathe well and get more oxygen into its bloodstream.
And this leads to increased energy levels. So as you can see, practicing yoga leads not only to spiritual but also physical benefits!
Still, even when increasing energy levels is one of the goals of yoga, I believe that it can’t be considered the ultimate goal of yoga.
Because other missions we’ve discussed and we’ll discuss in this article have a greater impact on our overall health and life.
6) Become more flexible and healthy
Once again, yoga has been proven to have many health benefits.
It helps us improve our flexibility and strengthen our muscles. This will keep us fit, strong, and healthy.
And guess what?
One of the goals of yoga is to benefit our physical body by increasing its strength, flexibility, and endurance.
When we practice yoga regularly, we can improve the quality of our flexibility and health in general by keeping our body in good shape.
When we practice yoga, we can improve our flexibility by stretching our muscles. This is a great way to keep our body in good shape and make it healthier.
As you know, when we practice yoga, we need to hold certain poses for a certain amount of time. This means that we need to be very flexible in order to achieve the pose we want.
So if you want to get into a pose, you will have to work on your flexibility. Once you become flexible, you’ll be able to achieve any pose and even do it with ease!
7) Reduce stress by releasing physical tension
Have you noticed how much your stress level reduces whenever you practice yoga?
And it’s not a miracle!
Yoga has been proven to help us reduce stress and get rid of physical tension. And this is one of the goals of yoga – to help us release physical tension and reduce stress.
No matter how stressed you are, once you start doing yoga, your body will relax and you’ll feel better.
This is because the physical tension in your body will reduce, and you’ll feel much better.
The truth is that yoga really helps us release physical tension by stretching our muscles (which, as we’ve discussed before, is one of the most important benefits of yoga).
Another thing that helps us reduce stress through yoga is breathing.
You see, when we perform different poses during our practice, we need to breathe in and out deeply.
This means that during our yoga sessions, we are forced to breathe deeply, which can help us reduce stress by releasing it from our bodies.
And this leads me to the next goal of yoga – improving your mental health and well-being.
8) Improve your mental health and well-being
Perhaps not surprisingly, yoga has been proven to improve mental health and well-being.
When we practice yoga, we can reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and stress and improve our mood in general.
Does this sound like something you’ve experienced?
Well, it also helps us to cope with symptoms related to emotional distress, like insomnia or pain.
Let me explain how this works.
Our physical body is closely related to our mental health, which means that our physical health can affect our mental health.
We’ve already discussed how yoga can help us improve our physical body, so it’s no surprise that it can also help us improve our mental state.
When we practice yoga regularly, we can help relieve stress and release tension from our bodies which helps us relax and feel better.
This is a great way to reduce stress, feel better about yourself, and improve your mood.
When you do yoga, you are not only reducing the physical tension in your body but also improving your mood by reducing the negative emotions you might have had before the practice.
So if you want to improve your mood and feel better about yourself, start doing yoga!
9) Achieve moksha – get free of samsara
This one might be unfamiliar to you if you’re not into Eastern philosophy, but it’s still a really important goal of yoga.
Yoga can help you achieve moksha – a state of perfect freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) and the attainment of enlightenment.
If that sounds too far out for you, think about it this way: yoga can help you reach a state where you feel completely free from stress and worry.
Moksha is one of the main goals in Hinduism and some other Indian religions, but most people practice yoga because they want to feel better – not because they want to achieve moksha.
So how does practicing yoga help us achieve moksha?
Well, when we practice yoga regularly, we learn how to control our breathing, which helps us relax our bodies.
As a result, we release tension from our bodies and achieve a higher state of being. This is one of the key benefits of yoga that I’ve already mentioned.
When we’re relaxed, we feel less stressed which helps us achieve moksha and reach enlightenment.
10) Learn about ourselves and discover what true happiness means for us
Now let’s switch to the real ultimate goal of yoga which is related to self-discovery.
The ultimate goal of yoga, as I see it, is to help us find out who we really are and what true happiness means for us.
This is a very important goal because if we don’t know who we are or what makes us happy, then how can we be happy?
We may think that what makes other people happy will make us happy too, but this isn’t necessarily true. Everyone has different needs and desires, so it’s important to know what they are before you start searching for happiness.
And that’s why one of the goals of yoga is to help us discover ourselves and understand who we truly are.
The thing is that practicing yoga helps us reflect on ourselves and discover what’s the true purpose of our lives. That’s why I think it’s one of the most important goals of yoga.
I know that some people say they don’t need a goal in their life because they’re happy just the way they are.
But this is only possible if you already know who you are and what makes you happy, so if you want to be truly happy, you need to discover yourself and understand your true needs and desires.
And yoga can help us achieve this goal!
11) Improve the quality of your life
And finally, personally, for me, the ultimate goal of yoga is to improve the quality of your life.
As a person who’s involved in the field of scientific research, having clear data about the benefits of yoga is truly important to me. And guess what?
Studies show that yoga can actually help you improve your quality of life.
By helping you feel better, look better, and live longer.
As I’ve already mentioned, when we practice yoga regularly, we release tension from our bodies, which helps us relax and reduce stress.
What’s more, practicing yoga regularly can also help us improve our flexibility and balance, which helps us avoid injuries and pain in the future.
And last but not least, practicing yoga can also help us achieve a higher level of consciousness, which helps us become more aware of what’s happening around us.
So in my opinion, improving the quality of your life is one of the main goals of yoga!
And that’s something everyone should always aim to focus on whenever we practice yoga.
As you can see, yoga is the union of the body, mind, and soul.
When you practice yoga, you can find a sense of balance between your mind and body.
And achieving that perfect state of being is the ultimate goal of yoga.
So, if you’re still not sure why you should practice yoga, let go of your doubts. Don’t question why you should try yoga. Instead, focus on the benefits you can receive from this practice.