Every year, thousands of resolutions are made in the name of the New Year and just as many are broken in the same breath. What is it about starting a new calendar year that sends us into a frenzy of things we want and ‘need’ to change in our lives? Why does it often times seem to fail us? How do we make the changes we want to see?
Personally, I don’t really like the term ‘resolution.’ It doesn’t hold much power for me. At its’ core, a resolution is really just a decision made in the conscious mind and doesn’t give me the courage or empowerment to take some kind of action. The sub-conscious patterns and beliefs are still so much stronger and take me down every time. It also comes from a place of willpower rather than deep, internal shifts that have been made.
In yoga, the tools we use such as meditation (focused contemplation), asana (physical postures), and pranayama (breath) are there for us to support a significant and long-lasting change from the inside out. When we consistently practice using these tools, our negative thought patterns and undesirable habits start to drop away. It may not be in the timing you’d like it to be, but gradually you begin to transform for the good.
My practice for every New Year is to set intentions and goals. These terms allow for much more flexibility and support through my yoga journey. Yoga doesn’t just give us physical flexibility and strength, but more importantly, mental and emotional balance, stability, and healing. The physical aspects are a lovely little bi-product, but remember the real science and effects of your yoga practice are to move you forward in love and freedom from the things that hold you back in life!