A New Year for Yoga

It is the end of another year, and as we approach the New Year energies run high. Do we make resolutions or not? Are we hopeful? Excited? Maybe even a little terrified? What happens next? Will we be successful or disappointed?

For me, the lead up to this New Year has been strange and full of endings – coming home from India with a lot of open questions instead of answers, leaving a job, celebrating the last BIG birthday of BKS Iyengar, saying goodbye to Geeta Iyengar, etc… So, I guess my hope is that 2019 will be full of new beginnings.

But this is the crazy thing about life and yoga – nothing is truly predictable and each day is a new adventure. We have control of our own actions, but we do not have control of the outcomes.

As the cartoons I attached to this blog suggest, each day we wake up we have a new opportunity. Not just one day a year, but 365. Will we decide to plant flowers or weeds? And if we plant any seed we must know that we can’t just leave it be. That seed needs water, sun, good soil and compost.  We must watch to see if what we planted is coming to the surface. If not, we might have to start again.

I do actually still make resolutions, but mostly goals for a New Year of Yoga. This year I will resolve to memorize the Sutras (4 per week) and for my asana practice hone some skills around arm balances. Within those resolutions, however, I know that difficulties will arise. Other times I have resolved to memorize the Sutras I am typically sidetracked by individual study or contemplation. With asana and the work of the body, I can make a goal, but the body does sometimes have its own ideas as well. It is a fine balance to have a goal and to also be able to listen to the reality that is presented each day.

The study and practice of yoga can be great tool for this kind of balance. I have found that my mind has become less rigid and my hopes less dashed. Sure, disappointment comes, excitement happens, but they are things that are there to experience and understand, not to hold onto. I mostly don’t wish for things to be different than they are. They ARE and I AM.

As 2019 does bring on a New Year and New Things and New Experiences, I hope we all are able to reflect and move forward with a little less disturbance and a lot more balance.


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