New Year – while some will say it’s only a date and nothing else, most of us will use this time to think about the year behind us and plan for the one ahead.
Although it is true we can do such a contemplation in any given month, there is a certain power in doing it now, when we are influenced by the cultural and social meaning of the New Year. We can use that energy to our advantage, rather than feeling pressurized by it.
One of the things many do for New Year are, of course, resolutions.
It is true, we often write a goal, then soon give up. Many gym owners will joke their gyms are fullest in January, and emptiest in February. The same applies to yoga studios.
Simply writing we will do more yoga on a sheet of paper won’t magically make that decision easy for us. However, it might if we take our time to first contemplate our true desires and goals.
In this article, we will share a few ideas on the things you can ask yourself or contemplate on. We hope it will help you to make a resolution that is in tune with your True Self.
Think About The Past Year
Looking at our past, especially our mistakes, is difficult, and often not helpful. However, if we try to observe our past with compassion and acceptance, we may come to some valuable conclusions.
For example, let’s say you didn’t practice yoga as much as you wanted to this year.
Try to remember what excuses did you use not to practice? Were they realistic, or not? If the reason was realistic – accept the truth. Then, make goals which are possible for you, rather than comparing yourself to others.
On the other hand, if you didn’t follow your goal due to a fear, insecurity or laziness, think of how you could overcome these causes to motivate yourself to do better next year.
What Is Your True Goal?
When we simply write down our resolutions on a sheet of paper, without thinking, it is likely we won’t follow through. Not because something is wrong with us, but because we don’t actually want to achieve that.
We often write down things we think we should do, rather than those we truly want.
For example, we might have heard from a teacher or someone we admire they practice yoga for an hour every day, or from a fitness guru we should quit eating sugar. But is that what we truly need?
Try to, for a moment, forget everything you heard from others, try to drop all critiques you have towards yourself. You can sit down to meditate. With a calmer mind, you will be able to gaze inwards.
Then, ask yourself, in your mind: What resolution would be best for me? What do I want? What do I need? Allow some silence to follow the question, give yourself time.
If nothing comes, you can even repeat this meditation for some time, you don’t need to have your resolutions ready on the first of January.
Then, slowly, you will begin to understand.
For example, maybe your main reason why you want to sign up for a yoga class is to hang out with like-minded people. In this case, you don’t have to go to vigorous classes daily, your resolution may be to connect with other yogis or those who are on the spiritual path.
Yoga is Much More Than A Physical Practice
We’re sure you know, at least on an intellectual level, yoga is not only physical. You might also have heard about the 8 limbs of yoga, the ethical principles of Yamas and Niyamas, the breathing techniques or Pranayamas and meditation.
It is immensely difficult to attempt to practice all these at once. Although we technically could, we would only understand them superficially.
Instead, think of what of these yoga methods attract you the most at this moment, and let your resolution be to learn more about them.
For example, someone who doesn’t have enough time to practice, may decide to work towards cultivating the Ahmisa or non-violence principle, or the Satya principle and become more honest.
Others, who want to combat their ego or some behavioral patterns, may decide to practice daily meditation, even if that means they’ll skip yoga poses sometimes.
Gaze Inward – And Look For Your TruthWe included some examples in this guide, but they only serve as inspiration. The main idea is to avoid making New Year resolutions simply out of habit.
Rather, take a day to look at your past, to discover what YOU truly want to change.
Forget about everything you’ve been told, rather think about what would make YOU grow.
In the end, remember that there are many ways to live a more yogic lifestyle, so try to discover which method or principle would you like to cultivate in YOUR life.
With that, we want to wish you a happy New Year. May it bring growth, peace, love, and true joy in your life and the lives of those you love.