New Year’s Resolutions can be extremely powerful tools for creating change in our lives– improving ourselves (though one could argue you could never improve upon your Self), realizing goals, putting an end to “bad” habits or patterns or just plain shaking things up. Often times we shoot out of the gate like a fireball and all too often we burn out soon thereafter. With this in mind, we encourage you to embrace a healthy mix of abhyasa, sanskrit for constant and determined effort and vairagya, non-attachment to results. Make resolutions, set your goals and strive to reach them but don’t give up on them if you seem to be going nowhere or worse yet, take a step backward. You may take a few wrong turns or even get derailed every now and again, but it’s the trails that don’t show up on your map may be just the detour you need…
Here are a few resolutions that may inspire or motivate you for 2013. We’ve followed them up with some references/inspirations to get you started and keep you going…
Start a home yoga practice
Find your Om at Home– whether it’s five minutes or 50, getting on your mat regularly on your own is a great way to expand and deepen your yoga practice. A mat is essential and props such as a blanket, blocks, strap and bolster can be a huge help. We’ve found that adhering to a set time and place to practice have really helped to keep the momentum going. Time can be as simple as “when I wake up” or “when the kids go to bed” or a set time that you can carve out regularly. Pick a place that’s comfortable for you—you may want to create your own “yoga space” that’s away from some of the outer distractions in order to quiet the inner ones. No worries if time and place need to vary, practice when you can and wherever you can for whatever time you can.
OK, it’s day one and the clock has struck “yoga.” I’ve got my space, rolled out my mat, so now what?!? There are many resources available for you to sequence out your home yoga practice (some are listed below). While you may seek external inspiration and guidance for your practice, part of the challenge, fun and reward of practicing on your own is it’s your opportunity to explore. Set your intention, celebrate your Self and cut loose!
There aren’t too many activities where you can get on your butt and get started. Whether on its own or as part of your home yoga practice, meditation brings you a lot closer to yourself (your Self). Sitting down and just being for a few minutes each day should be a welcome change from your frenetic pace and incessant external stimulation. Sit down and give it a try.
Eat (your veggies), Drink (water) and Be Merry
Whether you’re going to yoga class, the gym, walking or engaging in some other physical activity, you are likely very mindful of the amount of exercise you are getting. See if you can apply the same mindfulness to what you put into your body. You know your diet best and we’re sure many of us could stand to eat more fruits and veggies and drink more water. If you’re not sure, you may want to consider keeping a food diary so you can see just what you’re offering up to your body-temple.
Time is one of our most valuable and for many of us, scarce, commodities. To offer up our time in service to others, without expectation of thanks or other strings attached, is true karma yoga – the yoga of action. The Dalai Lama says that our purpose in this world is to be happy and to make others happy. Plain and simple, giving feels good and it clearly contributes to both our own happiness and the happiness of others.
There is something powerful about putting pen to paper and capturing your thoughts. The day’s events, goals, frustrations, triumphs or whatever comes to you in the moment are waiting to unfold on the page. The process of journaling may represent many things to many people—free expression, communication, therapy, release—in all these forms it is the process of getting to know yourself.
Get More Rest
Give yourself more time to do less– whether it’s more sleep, meditation, napping, an exercise recovery day, a day away from the news, soaking your feet- find what you need to be well rested from both a physical and mental perspective. Look at how much you’re already doing running on empty, imagine what you could do on a full tank.