There are four goals in life. And when we come to the mat, we can focus in on any one of them, or start at the core of our practice and see what blossoms forth as a result.
The four goals are:
Dharma: Dharma is purpose or the alignment of one's individual nature with the flow of nature as a whole.
Artha: Artha is the means required to avoid getting caught up in barriers. Artha is necessary funds, food, security, shelter, health, and other energetic resources.
Kama: Kama is enjoyment or pleasure.
Moksha: Liberation or freedom.
What is so beautiful about this is that we can come to the mat and focus on our purpose of this breath, this asana, this two hour practice.... or we can focus on the purpose of this life. We can explore what carries related to means (such as a shoulder injury that needs healing, or the funds to study with a favorite teacher). We can always find a little bit of pleasure -- looking, longing, seeking, and always and eventually finding it... if even in watching the sun begin to rise or the way a pillow feels beneath one's head after a long day. And then, ALL of this opens us to liberation... When we feel connected to our purpose, able to manifest or tap into the necessary (not the "I want I want I want" in my nature, but the necessary) means, filled with the joy for living... then ALL of these open us entirely and undoubtedly to Moksha: Freedom.
It's who we are.