Monday, December 28, 2015

Are you a New Year Resolutioner?

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!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Go ahead and drink the kool-aid!

Yoga is something that has been around for centuries, I’m talking thousands of years. So why in the last few decades, particularly this last one, has it gained so much momentum in many westernized countries?

My thought is because of the potential for community yoga has to offer us among many other positive aspects of the ancient practice. Over the last ten years or so, the lifestyles and therefore consciousness, or ways of thinking, in these parts of the world (mainly the United States) has been shifting significantly. From the Great Recession, to the housing crisis, to the first African American President, we have been changed and are changing still. Our values, priorities, and thinking patterns are being moved and shaken.

The yoga community aims to offer a place of acceptance of all religions, races, and lifestyles. It is a place where anyone can come, breath and connect to their body, mind, and other people. I know that not all yoga communities are this lovely, but the essence and heart of yoga is. This is what we strive for. It’s such an incredible experience to go to a yoga studio you’ve never been to or a festival like ‘Wanderlust’ and meet the most incredible, inspiring people and make them your new friends. 

Yoga is not bound by politics, belief systems, or separatism. The ideal is to create a community of like-minded humans that share their lives and build each other up to be better and positively impact our world. I know we're not perfect, but that's the beauty of yoga; perfection isn't a requirement. Our aim is to embrace and love our struggles and challenges because they are an incredible opportunity to transform and grow. 

I don’t know about you, but that's a community I definitely want to be a part of!

Squaw Valley

Wanderlust, Squaw Valley 2015