In all cultures, the start of a New Year is a time to celebrate new beginnings! Starting afresh, turning over a new leaf, starting with a clean slate are all metaphors that mean the same thing.
Giving yourself permission to let go and move on! We see it happening in nature every single year.
The trees are bare, the grass stops growing, the birds fly south and lots of animals hibernate. Everything stops, and then as we step into the New Year, life starts up again!
How can yoga help me start my year out the right way?
Resolve & Sankalpa
Resolve means to release and surrender. By creating resolve (or a resolution) we are letting go of that which no longer serves us, and make an intention that comes from the heart.
In yoga, this is called a Sankalpa. ‘San’ means ‘a compassionate goal’ and ‘kalpa’ means ‘unfolds over time.’ Our intentions are more likely to stick around if we focus on something that is aligned with our truest desires.
So, close your eyes for a minute. Take a couple of slow deep breaths, and ask yourself, if you could change anything this New Year, what would it be?
You have to be really honest with yourself, and if something is speaking to you from deep inside your heart, it’s likely this is what you need to focus on!
More often than not, our a Western approach to a New Year’s resolution is much more task driven and on the surface, eg I’m going to avoid alcohol for a month or stop eating chocolate – which ultimately lasts a week and then we forget why we were even doing it – try re-visioning and get a little deeper.
If it comes from somewhere deep down inside, it’s much more likely to have an impact!If this is a healthier and happier you, then taking steps to reduce alcohol or your sugar intake is a sure step to help you get there.
Similarly, if you want to make a change in an unhealthy relationship, connect to what your heart is really telling you.
This sounds great, but how can I really do this?
Making decisions by listening to the heart will help you move forward with momentum and commitment.
Try writing a list of these heart-felt desires in your journal, on your phone or laptop, on the back of a cereal box, anywhere.
After you’ve written your list, let the ideas sink into your deepest unconscious by practicing doing something that causes your body and mind to really relax.
You could simply lie down and practice focusing on your breath for a few minutes, or sit and listen to your favourite music, take a bath, or a walk out in nature. Anything that lets you really soften and let go.
While in this state of relaxation, hold your list close to your heart, and when you’re done and they’re all soaked in, go-forth with love, with commitment, with momentum and with resolve!
Yoga and your new year
Yoga has many wonderful tools that can help to strengthen both the body and the mind. It’s not all airy fairy like this, and oftentimes just moving our bodies with gentle stretches and giving our busy minds a few moments to pause, can have profound impacts on our mental and physical health.
If feeling better in your body, mind, daily work life, relationships or anything else is a goal for you this new year, I encourage you to come practice a little yoga!If this is something you’re interested in doing, but don’t quite know where to start, the new year is a wonderful place to begin.
Join us for some live online yoga classes and get a 15 day free trial today at www.t-efrogproject.org
If you have any questions or just want to talk about how yoga could help you, feel free to get in touch, www.thefrogproject.org