Happy New Year’s Eve! As some of us may be waking up tomorrow with a sore head and a slightly blurry memory, I thought I would catch-up with you all now. As 2019 approaches we are presented with an opportunity for reflection. We can all cast our minds back to the highs & not so highs of 2018 with a sense of optimism for what awaits us in the new year. January heralds forth a whole load of well-intended new year resolutions as we set goals for the coming year. Despite the good intentions these new year resolutions are notoriously impermanent but why? Usually they’re either too vague (lose weight), too abstract and flowery (get rid of negativity) or totally insurmountable (lose 20-lbs in a week). When we do this, we are setting sail on a course of failure. So, what hey? Who really cares if I achieve these goals or not? Well, actually You do. Buried into your psyche will be memory of starting the year with failure. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way.
Our theme for January is Intension Setting which aligns with the January staple of new year resolutions. There is however a subtle difference between the two that helps us weave in some yoga philosophy.
Intention setting focuses less on outcomes or goals and more on the journey itself. New year resolutions are usually outwardly focused and often short lived. Intentions come from a deeper introspection and don’t need to be attached to an outcome. For example, “I’m going to lose 8 lbs in January” would be a common resolution. It’s entirely focused on the outcome with no attention to the journey or process. This can sometimes lead us to walking a path that can be harmful. In this case we may be so attached to the goal of losing 8lbs that we sacrifice our health and happiness in order to make the weight on the scales.
An intention would be “I’m going to be active four times each week & stop eating processed foods.” Here the focus is the journey. If I’m active four times per week then I’m improving my health & happiness and the outcome of weight loss becomes a welcome by product of my journey.
The weaving in of yoga philosophy would come from The Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says “Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction”. Simply put, we should be mindful not to be attached to results of our actions but also don’t use this thought as an excuse to be a lazy. There’s a commitment and discipline to intention setting. There’s an understanding that the intention might not be easy but an assertion it’s going to be worth it.
Intention setting needs to be specific for it to work. Vague and abstract intentions such as a Miss World classic “I’m aiming for world peace” with no prior thought as to how, where or even why, isn’t going to cut it. Your mind has so many things to contend with, so much stimulation and distraction that you need to give some weight to your intentions.
I’ll make one suggestion for you. Join our “30 days of mindful movement”. Click the links below for details of what mindful movement it and how to get involved and win yourself a load of Yogalife prizes too.
Here’s a good little exercise to help set you up for 2019. I came across this on a course a while ago now and I found it powerful.
- Start with clearing the bad stuff out. Write down three things you want to let go of. If you’re harbouring anger towards someone, forgive them. If you are still beating yourself up on missing out on a promotion then let it go.
- Next sit and reflect on what elements of your life are most important to you. What brings you the greatest joy? What gets your fires burning? What fills you with a sense of purpose?
- Make a list of your intentions and desires. Remember to be specific & realistic. Share it with someone close to you who will be supportive and help keep you focused on realizing those intentions.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Yogalife in 2019. Exciting changes are on the way so keep a lookout for new classes, events and workshops.
Enjoy the rest of 2018 & from everyone at Yogalife we wish you all the best for 2019.
Peace & Love