New Year’s Resolutions – we make them, we break them, we guilt ourselves about them – but what if this year we made a resolution that we could feel good about and actually keep?
The truth of the matter is that you can make and re-make resolutions at any time – not just in January! For example, I like to establish or re-affirm my intentions in tune with the lunar cycle, which allows me to continually assess what is and isn’t working for me throughout the year.
If like many people, your intentions are about developing or increasing your health and fitness routine it’s important to make sure you engage actively with these resolutions. Making big blanket statements like ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘increase muscle tone,’ or ‘de-stress’ at the start of the year is great, but they’re hard to keep track of unless you interact with them on a closer level as time goes on. Month to month you can make your goals more do-able by taking measured steps to achieve them and by being gentle, understanding, and compassionate with yourself throughout the process!
An important goal I feel almost everyone could consider is to be more ok with not immediately succeeding at achieving your aims. I teach yoga at The View, but I’m the first to admit that you don’t have to be good at yoga to practice yoga. So many of my friends say they’d love to take a class but that they would feel embarrassed because they think they’re not flexible or strong or fit, but the secret to yoga is that you don’t have to be these things. Yoga is not about being the strongest or about lifting yourself into beautiful contortions like influencers on Instagram – it’s a practice of connecting to yourself, body and mind, and of taking time to breathe into the present moment. Last time I checked you don’t need to be able to do a handstand to breathe and be present.
You don’t even have to be able to touch your toes to do yoga – you only have to be good at showing up to the mat. Flexibility, strength, and physical awareness are not built in a day much less a single yoga class. Creating a relationship between mind, body, and soul takes patience and discipline, but it also takes a lot of compassion, joy, and commitment to honouring where you are at every stage of your journey. Some days my yoga practice is 30 minutes of lying on the floor in Savasana because that’s what my body needs!
In this sense, throughout 2019 I encourage you to make and re-make your resolutions, to be willing to try something new, and to set an intention to come to the mat in everything you do to learn rather than to be perfect.
Written by Phoebe Angeni