Wow…where do I begin? The topic of “New Year’s resolutions” can seem on the face of it, vast and daunting! For those of us who are driven and Type A personalities most likely have this innate desire to push, accomplish, thrive at whatever it is we set our minds to. Even if this presents as a hindrance to our emotional and physical well-being. And, we most likely approach creating New Year’s resolutions in the same way –with unwavering perfection. This all may look good on the surface but at the end of the day, nothing really gets“resolved”!I don’t know about you, but for me, the new year can present as somewhat anxiety-provoking. Great emphasis is placed on creating these beautiful curate intentions and associated goals, and if these are not planted at the “right time” like a seed about to blossom, and nourished daily, then I’ve somehow failed and I begin to question everything, especially my path in life.
So what would yoga philosophy ask of us when planning out our intentions for the New Year? If we turn to the Yamas, which are essentially moral guidelines by which we live with respect to the relationship to ourselves and our environment, the last Yama –Aparigraha–as outlined in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga offers us much freedom. This Yama is usually translated to mean non-attachment. More specifically, it is defined by the freedom to work and to do what we love without worrying about the outcome; the freedom to rely less on external and material possessions to bring us happiness; and the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be. As our beloved Lord Krishna professed in the Bhagavad Gita, “Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results. Those who understand this and practice it live in freedom”. How can we allow this to be a guiding force in the curation of our New Year’s resolutions?
Aside from all the surface-level desires such as practicing a new year yoga sequence, or better yet, identifying a new year yoga class so that we can experience new yoga poses for the new year(I imagine a top 10 for a yogis’ new year’s resolutions!), how do we dig beneath the surface and tap into that wellspring of knowledge and wisdom that aligns with our spiritual path? What if we tuned in to what is stirring deep within our hearts –whether it’s starting a new relationship, a job we’ve been longing for but are just too afraid of pursuing fear of failure, or even just a new project around the house–and followed this path and through this process, we organically stumbled upon that intrinsic desire to take a new year yoga class. Rather than having our drives and motivations start from the outside(which, by the way, can all too often be dictated by what society expects of us), we tune into what our gut tells us, that intuitive knowing, and work our way from the inside to the outside? This may require a little more strength and resolve, but it could be just the thing to get us to stay the course, especially amidst the ebb and flow of life and the curve balls that life can throw our way in any given moment.
If you already have a consistent yoga practice, and align with any spiritual teachings, then you may already be on the path of following your heart’s desire! Perhaps this desire is asking you to immerse yourself ina relaxing and quiet environment, with a daily dose of yoga, meditation, nature, and nutritious meals added to the mix. If the latter, consider as part of your New Year’s resolutions a new year yoga retreat. Power Yoga has a couple of retreats slated for 2020! The first retreat is being held on the beautiful coast of the Mediterranean sea Sunday, June 7 –Sunday, June 14, 2020, and the second in the wild and exotic jungle of Costa Rica at the exquisite Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort Saturday, August 1 –Saturday, August 8, 2020. If a retreat is not quite in alignment with your heartfelt desires, yet you are still interested in a yoga-based resolution, then perhaps you can begin your new year yoga 2020journey by taking a yoga class online. Power Yoga On Demand offers a wide variety of classes for all levels, including Restorative, Power Yoga, Prenatal, and many more! Consistent with your new year yoga resolution, you will likely want to consider a health and wellness program that focuses on the role of healthy, nutritious, and well-balanced meals alongside a daily exercise routine, whether it’s a meandering walk in nature or a 30-minute yoga class.
However, your resolution unfolds, my hope is that you experience one (if not more) of the many ways a yoga practice and healthy diet can support your connection to the intuitive and divine self, that place of inner calm where no one can steal your peace, and keep you moving in a valued and meaningful life direction without any attachment to the outcome.
Stay on the path, know you are loved, and TRUST in the process…namaste!