New Year Resolution – Be Still and Do Yoga
If you practice yoga with me you will already know that I prefer to refine my resolutions or intentions throughout the whole season of Winter.
The only New Years Resolution I promote is to take time throughout Winter to practice STILLNESS, YOGA and PRESENCE since in winter our natural inclination is to slow down, rest and restore.
Busy lifestyles and commitments may make it difficult to meet our natural, restful winter rhythm. So making conscious efforts to be efficient with our energy and commit to doing some inner work will help us tune-up, rebalance and restore for the seasons to come.
- Take time daily (5-10mins) to BE STILL and feel into your space – inside and out. Any time, any place, anywhere whenever the opportunity arises. On the chairlift, in the shower, before bedtime, during lunch-break, in the car waiting to pick up…etc. and/or
- Practice FEELING PRESENT and aware of how you feel in your body and mind in ad hoc situations. Teeth brushing, eating breakfast, waiting in line, commuting to work etc. Become practiced at moment to moment awareness so it starts to become familiar and easy to be in the moment with all your senses attuned to simple spacial awareness (inside and out) and/or
- Practice YOGA or Tai Chi or Qigong – I encourage you to really FEEL the postures and shapes. To explore what sensations, resistance, thoughts or emotions arise while doing it.
These Winter resolutions allow us to tune-in to winter vibes, slow down and take the opportunity to reflect, to evaluate and to FEEL what inner changes we want to make to enhance our lives. So rather than impose head-strong resolutions on ourselves which are often austere, not from the heart and often destined to fail, make your New Year resolution simple – Create a daily practice of stillness and/or practice yoga and/or practice present moment awareness.
Over the first few weeks with of winter mindfulness you will start to notice things about you and your response to the practices. The more you do it the more insights you gather from your yoga and still-time. The more insights you gather the more you will have to reflect on.
On reflection you may get ideas into what positive changes you can make for yourself for the year ahead.
From those ideas you can create meaningful intentions to impress on yourself.
So if you haven’t already, make a resolution for Winter to be mindful and open to calm self-inquiry, Doing so places us in the most fertile environment to reflect deeply and plant seeds and intentions that are true to us and will grow with us through the year ahead.
Shaping meaningful Intentions
While we retreat and reflect on how we feel, we can begin to direct our self inquiry towards what we really want or need in our lives.
Pondering specific questions through the Winter mindfulness process can begin to shape new resolutions or ‘Sankalpa’ that are more likely to run the course of time.
Here are some SUGGESTIONS as to WHAT TO ASK YOURSELF that have been tried and tested chez moi. Let your imagination run wild and free. Feel for heartfelt responses. Try not to try too hard to find answers. Ask the questions after a yoga practice or after a wee sit so you’re already in the vibe.
- What were the main learnings and lessons of the last year?
- What strengths, skills or insights can you expand on as a result of last years experiences?
- What held you back that you don’t want to bring forward into this new year?
- Who do you hope to be in this year?
- How do you want to celebrate life, love, beauty, happiness?
- How do you want to manage challenge, disappointment and the unexpected?
- What qualities do you want to cultivate in your life?
- How do you want to feel this year? How do you want this year to feel?
- Is there a sense that a new path or opportunities may be opening up?
- Is there a potential new journey or change in approach to embark on?
- Can you imagine where it might take you?
- If yes can you engage with it / speak to it / discern how to bring it can come to life?
- Is there a wish that you keep wishing?
- Is there a marker or synchronicity that keeps catching your attention?
- Is there a dream you keep dreaming?
- Is there a strong desire in your heart?
- Can you engage with it? Can you discern its relevance? Give it a voice? Bring it to life?
Note down anything that comes to mind (or lack of as the case maybe). Keep a journal for review over the depths of winter and keep adding to it as you ponder away.
Allow for your inner wisdom to speak up. Don’t settle for logical or cerebral responses. (If you’re answers are ordinary and make perfect sense they are probably from the head not the heart!)
Return to these inquiries perhaps once a week and take note of your responses, insights or lack of, throughout the depths of winter. You will perhaps start to see patterns of thoughts, recurring feelings or random insights coming to you over the weeks of inquiry.
These inner wisdoms will start to develop intentions that derive from our depths rather than that which is on the surface and, as such, not absolutely true to us.
From these intentions you can form heart-felt ‘Sankalpa’ – resolution – commitment – determination that supports us to become or do what we truly feel is right for us in the year ahead.
Feel free to connect with Becs to keep it real and true. It’s a solo adventure but it can be nice to share our experiences to help see the bigger picture.
More on ‘Sankalpa’ as Winter begins to fade. Keep an eye on the Blog for more.
Happy journeys into Winter Balance x