While intentions can be set any time, many resolve to change habits or form new ones at the start of each new year.
New Year's Resolutions are powerful for a number of reasons. Not only is it the start of a new year (or, tomorrow, a new decade!), it is also just a few weeks into winter--the yin time of year. During winter, it is helpful to imagine that your intention is a planted seed that will be nourished during the cold winter months.
But, we must also recognize that resolutions fail. How can you increase the likelihood that your resolution will succeed?
1. As we discussed yesterday, one way is to make sure that you are setting a realistic intention. Follow the Middle Path.
2. Practice Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a powerful guided meditation that systematically takes you through different levels of consciousness. At the start of each session, you will set your sankulpa, or intention, then the instructor leads you through the meditation. This way, the sankulpa is "planted" and nourished during the practice. Consider attending one of our Yoga Nidra classes every Monday at 6:45 p.m.
3. Practice loving kindness (metta). If your intention is to workout every day, on days you fail, don't bombard yourself with negative self-talk. Treat yourself as you would a young child and think, "I missed a workout. It's important I don't do that, so I will go to the gym tomorrow." Then let it go. Associating negativity with your resolution will make it harder to follow through.
4. Don't give up. Using the example above, let's say you do miss a few days (or weeks) at the gym. Don't give up on the resolution and think, "Welp. That's it. Another year without working out the way I want to." Get back as soon as you're able. Along that same vein, don't quit when things get hard. One of the things we practice in yin is "resting in discomfort." Whatever your resolution, there will be times when you feel uncomfortable, stressed, angry, and a host of other emotions. Simply feel the feelings, then return to your breath and the present moment. Rest in the discomfort. If change was easy, you wouldn't need a resolution to do it.
If you've resolved to practice more yoga in 2020, consider visiting our studio! We offer classes for experienced yogis, beginners, and everyone in between.