BY: TRISHA CURLING
No matter how we feel about resolutions, I think there are many of us who spend time reflecting on the year that has passed and what we are hoping to accomplish in the year ahead. We don’t have to stick to one resolution, we can set many small goals, or better yet a schedule for ourselves that is laid out over time in order for us to not only accomplish what we wish but to do things that will help us to enjoy the process with a little bit more clarity and focus. In the yoga context, consider how we can renew our practice. Keep in mind, renewing our yoga practice is not only about poses (asana), it is about how we nourish our whole selves. I have laid out a schedule that we may follow for 2018. I include myself in this because as a yogi, our journeys are constant and ever evolving. We are all teachers and students simultaneously.
January – Spend a mindless day with a good friend or with your family (Laugh a lot!)
Find something silly to do. These are the moments that stand out in life. They are the things that nourish our spirits and release endorphins into the brain allowing us to feel the euphoria of being in the moment.
February – Read a book
Reading a good book leaves such an incredible imprint on the brain. The inspiration poetry delivers the beauty in the way that words are collected and assembled in fiction. Reading nourishes the mind.
March – Reflect on challenges in recent practices
Do a scan of your physical practice. Question where you found some limitation/challenge. Take those areas as opportunities to grow and to find poses that will help you to move through those challenges.
April – Practice your favourite poses
This brings immediate gratification and happiness.
May – Try a new pose
Trying and practicing a new pose can lead to the exploration of a multitude of other poses, helping to deepen our practice.
June – Eat ice cream
It doesn’t have to be ice cream but indulge in your favourite treat occasionally.
July – Take a yoga class with a different teacher
Getting new cues from a different teacher might change the simplest pose for us and make it an even better feeling within our bodies.
August – Lift weights
Reap all the benefits that it has to offer. Lifting weights helps to build (among other things) strength, healthy bone density, and strong connective tissue.
September – Spend a day doing absolutely nothing
Turn on Netflix, take a nap, go with the flow. Try not to plan out your day and just see where it takes you. If it takes you nowhere, be content with that. So many other days are scheduled by the minute.
October – Practice silence
It’s amazing how simply staying quiet for an extended period of time can bring peace of mind.
November – Meditate
Sit with your breath and find out more about who you are.
December – Play hooky
Don’t tell your boss I said so, but taking a “balance day” can increase productivity in other areas of responsibility in your life. This will provide more confidence and will also spill over into other areas.
Yoga is the connection between body, mind, and spirit. When we look at ways of renewing our practice, we must do things that renew us on all of these levels. We all do these things in different ways, so finding your way through this in a way that makes it your own will indeed help to renew love, life, passion…..yoga.