3 Top Yoga/Veda Tips For (Re)Picking Your Perfect New Year’s Resolution
A new year has come by and with it come promises of going on a diet or detox, exercising, losing weight, and many other things that most of us won’t get to do until the next year rolls by. Before you start jotting down what your New Year’s resolution or resolutions are going to be, why don’t you apply a few yoga practices to choose which one? Maybe by doing so, you can actually begin following through and congratulating yourself by the end of the year.
Don’t Think ‘Whatever’
Grab that resolution by the Christmas balls! When you say whatever to your resolutions, you throw away an opportunity that Nature gives you to plant a seed. Yes, it’s growing season! Nature has provided a dark womb under the earth so that you can harvest your ‘crops’ later and, as Nature intended, you have this opportunity within also.
Following your bliss is a great way to contact that which would benefit you to grow. What is it that makes you smile? What do you like to spend your time doing? What area of your life felt ‘left out’ last year? Put this intention into your daily yoga practice by writing it out and putting it under your mat. Take it with you to your yoga class in your pocket and do the same. Literally, breathe it into life over the next couple of months. The late winter has the quality of the Water element within it. The primary quality of water is a cohesiveness that binds and bonds. This is a great time of year to ‘stick’ to something, even though, right now, this something is just an idea!
If your New Year’s resolution isn’t in line with your best dreams for yourself, it reflects what is going on with your thinking the rest of the year. The new year is not a time to stop dreaming and start doing. In fact, this is just what you shouldn’t do. During the previous early winter months, your attention started to move inwards naturally and your mind takes on a more reflective attitude. As late winter arrives, this reflective attitude has given some gifts. You may have realized some things about yourself that you were too busy to see during Summer and Autumn.
This insight is exactly what you will want to bring into our New Year! But don’t stop here. Take this insight (and if it hasn’t arrived yet, it will) and foster it into a ‘resolve’. A resolve is more than an insight. A resolve is a commitment. Our lives have value, so our resolutions should too! Think of 12 different values that are meaningful to you, such as:
Pick from these and/or any other values that come up for you and use a few that you would like to bring into your life in 2018. Now, when you make your New Year’s resolution, let it be about bringing three of your most important values into your life with every opportunity that happens to come your way.
Add Rather than Cut
A lot of times you may think of a New Year’s resolution in terms of cutting something out. Don’t make this mistake and miss the fact that adding something in is a much more powerful practice. When you cut things out of your life, you may be left feeling bereft and even abandoned. This is not a strong place to be standing in! But if you add in value and nourishment instead you will feel more ‘filled up’ and secure. Much better!
As well as adding via values, you can also add in nourishment and movement this New Year rather than dieting and detoxing. A lot of people feel that detoxing is dieting and dieting is detoxing; same same. But dieting is primarily about taking less calories in than we burn and, subsequently, losing weight. And detoxing is about opening up the elimination channels in the body – and we can gain or lose weight at this point depending on which one our body needs to get healthier – and assisting the body in the ‘cleansing’ process, which it is doing all by itself all day every day with a burst of activity primarily between the early morning and the later hours of the day and in spring and autumn. So, it makes sense to let Nature suggest the rhythm for the detox which is not January for sure!
January is a time for nourishing the body and for getting moving. So as part of your dream resolution, it will be helpful to add in an Ayurvedic body practice called ‘abhyanga’ which is oiling the body with warm sesame oil each morning, leaving it on for at least 20 minutes – 1 hour and then washing it off with a warm shower. You can also add in a daily home yoga practice and a weekly (or more!) yoga class that uses postures and sequences that nourish you. Check out your local area for ‘restorative’ or ‘yin’ yoga teacher’s schedules.
And may all your dreams come true!
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