This is the time of year for reflection. We look back over the days of 2013 and think of the ways we made ourselves happy and also the things we did that caused or cause us disappointment. As a result, we then often tell ourselves that THIS year, 2014, will be different. We will be “better” and we make promises to ourselves, most of which seem to bring disappointment when we once again reflect over the previous months at the end of 2014. Yoga is what we do to live in our bodies more contentedly. So, this year, instead of making resolutions that you feel you “should” do, instead simply think about improving your life with things that you “want” to do. Learn to incorporate yoga into your daily life!
How to do this is the BIG question! For me, I try to start with honesty. What will I actually do, not what do I hope I will do. If you think you would like to attend more yoga classes than you did in 2013, be honest: start by acknowledging how many classes you know you have been attending, and maybe say that one class per week is the minimum. And, then any more than that will be a bonus that will make you feel good. OR, instead of trying to push yourself to go to more classes, tell yourself that you will start doing 4 rounds of sun exercises at home 2 days per week. And, maybe, once it starts feeling great, you might notice that you are adding other poses to that initial 4 rounds or doing them more than twice a week. Once again, you will feel positive and pleased with yourself rather than disappointed that you are already not living up to your resolution. Being honest is the key. The goal is recognizing that you feel so much better after you practice, that you will want to practice and therefore will make the time and effort. But that has to be an honest feeling of want, not “should”.
The same can be said for those of you who feel you “should” start meditating, or you “should” increase the time of your meditation. Many people spend their entire seated meditation time worrying that they are “not doing it right” or noticing how uncomfortable their knees feel or wondering how much time has passed. For those folks, you might consider instead starting a walking meditation. Find a lovely place to stroll and let your mind wander. Or, you can do a counting meditation by counting your footsteps, or counting the number of footsteps per breath, and so on. Be honest and find what works for you and makes your life better. Feeling disappointment with yourself is a negative that does not improve your life.
Living with more awareness is also something you can work on. Notice your position when you sit down at the computer and adjust your pelvis to the correct seated angle (See my Seated Mountain Pose blog). Be aware. Before you get up from the computer, stretch your wrists (see my blog on Hands and Wrists). Before going to sleep, move your neck and spine in all 6 directions (see my blog on Lymphatic Flow or view my YouTube Video.) Make this awareness a goal and it can become part of your life. Make 2014 a year of positives and enjoyment and honesty, awareness. Live your yoga.
If you have any question or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year everyone!