New Year New Yoga
Why is January a time to start afresh?
In all cultures, the start of a New Year is a time to celebrate new beginnings! Starting afresh, turning over a new leaf, starting with a clean slate are all metaphors that mean the same thing. Giving yourself permission to let go and move on!
New chapters and all that
2020 has been a stinker and for many of us, things probably didn't go as expected. So let's use this New Year to shake it up a little and start 2021 bright eyed and bushy tailed!
How can yoga help me start my year out the right way?
Resolve & Sankalpa
Resolve means to release and surrender. By creating resolve (or a resolution) we are letting go of that which no longer serves us, and make an intention that comes from the heart. In yoga, this is called a Sankalpa. 'San' means 'a compassionate goal' and 'kalpa' means 'unfolds over time.' Our intentions are more likely to stick around if we focus on something that is aligned with our truest desires.
So, instead our a Western approach to a New Year's resolution, e.g. I'm going to avoid alcohol for a month or stop eating chocolate (which ultimately lasts a week and then we forget why we were even doing it!), try re-visioning and get a little deeper.
What is the reason behind these resolutions, what is it that your heart desires?
If this is a healthier and happier you, then taking steps to reduce alcohol or your sugar intake is a sure step to help you get there. Similarly, if you want to make a change in an unhealthy relationship, connect to what your heart is really telling you.
Let your resolve come from your heart
Making decisions by listening to the heart will help you move forward with momentum and commitment
Write a list of these heart-felt desires in your journal, on your phone or laptop, anywhere
Let them sink in to your deepest unconscious by practicing yoga nidra after you've written your list (a deep relaxation - try the one below)
Hold them close to your heart and go-forth with love, with commitment, with momentum and with resolve!
Resolve and let love!
Once you have a list of your resolutions, resolve or Sankalpa, then let them soak into the depths of your being by practicing conscious relaxation or yoga nidra. Yoga nidra translates to yoga sleep and is a guided relaxation (see the video below). It's extremely relaxing. All you have to do is lie down, listen and try not to fall asleep. And watch amazing things happen in your life!
Have a read over your Sankalpa's first, and then set yourself up in a comfortable space where you will remain undisturbed for a little while. Be warm, find your cosiest blanket, lie down in savasana and hit play.
Repeat as many times as you like, and try this before bed (or even in bed!). A lovely New Year's practice.
Ready to create a little bit of space for you? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.