Move into the New Year with Clarity:
How yoga as a lifestyle can help you control your life
Allow me to begin this article with a little irony. As I sat down to write this article I immediately got up to grab a few reference material items. All of my paperwork, and most things, have a place in which they always reside. These items do as well. For some reason way beyond me, they were not where they should have been. It is with irony that I frantically looked for them, instead of using my steady yogi skills which this article is about.
Let’s start, as this year begins most of us start with intentions to have the best year possible, whether that means fitness, having fun, spending time with family, calamity of mind, flexibility, or in general yoga; yoga can advance our abilities to efficiently and intelligibly reach these goals.
The word Yoga means yoking, or in another sense, bringing together, union or connection. This brand-new beginning, new years, is a time to bring new intentions in with healthy habits from the previous year.
Yoga is a lifestyle, it’s more than an asana (poses) class you do once a week. Yoga is 8 limbs to follow. Yoga is the Yama: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, non-possessiveness. It’s the Niyama: purity, contentment, austerity, self-study, centering on the divine. Yoga is breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation and enlightenment.
Yoga includes balance. Balance is essential to bringing in new goals and intentions into our new year. To maintain this balance, we must find out own ways to manage that. Yoga can be the balancing force that allows you to take a step back when things get a little too busy, with food prep, taking kids to practices, hitting the gym, etc. It’s the silent time in the day where one sits and refocuses, relaxes, re-energizes. Yoga is self-care that helps you perform at your greatest potential. To take a moment to step back and have a yoga practice allows one to move forward with life and their intentions at a much quicker and efficient pace.
Balancing the eight limbs of yoga in with new years resolutions or goals and intentions is an intelligent way to push forward and sustain those resolutions, goals and intentions all the way until December 31st, 2018.
Take your intention, and bring use the Yama, non-violence to have a non-violent view of your intention. This means to not have any judgement of yourself for what you intend on achieving, be truthful with what you can achieve in what time frame. Do not allow this goal to steal you away from the other important things that must continue to be in your life, use self-discipline to make your intention come to fruition. And do not become possessive of what may result or be intended with this intention.
Continue up the eight limbs of yoga with your intention and use the Niyama purity to cleanse your living space and body, this will allow you to have a clear mind and body to stay focused on your intention. Less distractions. Contentment with where you are at the moment will take away stress or anxiousness that comes with trying to achieve a goal or resolution. Maintaining austerity will allow you to focus on your goals. Self-study can reveal anything that may be standing in your way, reasons why you haven’t achieved this goal in the past, and moving past that. Centering on the divine can bring you back anytime you feel as if you’re over consumed by the changes you decided to make this year.
Bringing in the posture practice of yoga can keep your body limber and young, what ever your goal is, it is vital to be in peak physical condition. Nothing should distract you from your goals this year. Joints that function, and muscles that are flexible and limber are vital to moving forward to attain goals.
Have you ever been so busy, maybe trying to juggle 5 different tasks, and you can’t remember where you put something? Or you just can’t figure out how to solve a problem. When you finally relaxed the answer came to you? Breath control and sense withdrawal allows us to move into our new year with clarity, calmness and a healthy state of mind. We can put ourselves into that state of calmness where things click by controlling our breath and taking ourselves away from media, and constant bombardment of our senses. We can put ourselves in this state of mind daily, we can train ourselves to be calmer and content in the moment. If this practice can help you achieve more, to reach your goals, would you do it?
Meditation is a daily lifestyle that can change brains. To achieve greatness, we must control our bodies, to control our bodies, we must control our mind. To control our mind, we meditate. To achieve balance, greatness, and new years resolutions, I recommend using meditation as your most powerful tool. There are many different ways to meditate, and you may resonate with one the most. Take that and use it to enhance your own personal power.
In the end perhaps we shall reach enlightenment, and if we are so blessed to reach enlightenment we have truly mastered all of the other limbs and are truly achieving the most incredible gift.
Take yoga into your life, take the time for yourself. This is an amazing time signified with new beginnings. I truly believe New years is the most incredible holiday as it’s a holiday where people all over the world vow to become a better them, and self-improvement is what keeps life interesting. It’s what allows us to help ourselves and others. Keep moving forward and consider using yoga in your journey.
If you’re interested in becoming a yoga teacher and diving deeper into these teachings and how your can help influence other’s lives with them you can join Temple Yoga on February 3rd for the next class that starts for Yoga teacher training. This class is Yoga Alliance approved and organized by Edge Yoga School. Start using these fundamentals in your life and helping others do the same!
Happy 2018 friends,
Owner of Temple Yoga in Dekalb, IL
The eight limbs of yoga:
- Pranayama-breath control
- Pratyahara-sense withdrawal