It’s been a while (and a chunk of a winter!) since we last caught up. I missed you!
During the cold dark days of winter, we are taken away from many things we love-sunshine, warmth, long days, leisurely bike rides among them. Those winter days offer us other opportunities in return. I’m a summer person myself, so I was initially stumped on how to spin winter into something good. I first came up with: increased opportunity to binge watch The X-Files on Netflix, cozied up on the sofa in my yoga pants? However true, this shallow response ignored the rest! Winter is a time when we can reflect, recharge, and plant the seeds of change for days to come.
I was thinking about New Year’s Resolutions on my way to teach class last night. The tradition of a life-changing resolution that lasts a whole year, or a whole lifetime and beings on January 1st has a lot of pressure. Maybe you decide to give up sugar for the year, but on January 10th your neighbor’s delicious cookies come calling. By the time you’ve enjoyed one or two, you figure the whole year is shot, and to hell with the resolution?
Ever notice how you can be having a crappy day, and then a good yoga class, a nice meal with a friend, or an invigorating run can change the tides completely? No day, month, year, is ever totally lost.
One of the things we learn in yoga, and each time we unroll our mat for an asana practice, is that we are offered constant opportunities. We don’t have to wait for a date on a calendar, or other external event to give it a go. We make that decision for ourselves. We may offer permission for whatever it is to ourselves, so it’s on our timeframe. We call the shots.
When we set an intention at the beginning of practice, it’s sort of like setting a New Years resolution. But you don’t have to share it with anyone, post it to your fridge, or hold yourself to it with guilt or obligation. You give it a try, and the next day, you start all over again. Perhaps the same intention, perhaps another.
Every time we practice, we can have that New Year momentum and energy, and know it won’t run out. We can put the brakes on how much pressure we apply, but continue to show up with intention each day.
Stay warm, yogis!