7 Things Yogis Should Do In the New Year
Greetings from the new year. If you have not yet made yourself a priority, then it is not too late. If the last few challenging years have shown us anything, it’s that we alone are responsible for our happiness. It’s time to take yoga off the mat and into our lives for long-lasting change.
Here are seven simple ways to support the change we may want to see.
Decluttering is Yoga-ing
Clutter is not yogic. Clinging to the past and to things we don’t use, is not a good habit. If you struggle with stuff, then think about this: keeping clutter is clinging to the past as well as a fear that the future will not provide. If you are grounded in the present, then keep what you can use and discard the rest.
Make Your Time a Priority
Your time is yours. Period. For parents of young children, and for caretakers of older adults, this is critical because you don’t have very much free time. So be choosy. Choose “no” more often. Spend your valuable time on the things that serve you.
That goes for the internet too.
Should I Stay or Should I Goal?
Goals get a bad rap because people take them personally. For example, if you want to lose a few pounds there may be a nagging thought that you are not good enough as is. This is where you might want to thank your mind for sharing, and ignore it.
I’m just going to offer the possibility that you can lose a few pounds, and still be a really great, self-loving person. These things are not necessarily mutually-exclusive. It’s not one or the other. It can be both, and.To goal or not to goal is entirely up to you. Speaking only for myself, I goal early and often, then readjust as reality gets in the way, and I never take any of it as a sign that I have failed, only that I have lived well.
Nutrition is Self-Love
What you feed yourself reflects how much you love yourself. So do the best you can because you matter.
I choose food carefully -- not to lose weight -- but to feel strong and energetic. I try to avoid excess sugar to keep my energy levels high. I avoid excess carbs and watch the glycemic index of foods to stay active without needing a nap. I eat little to no dairy to take care of my skin which seems to break out with cheese.
If you think of your body as a plant which needs lots of light and water and rich soil to grow, then give your body the very best you can so it can grow and flourish.
Clean your House
B.K.S. Iyengar said that if we clean our home we may discover that Divinity has been living inside all along. He was speaking metaphorically about taking care of our mind, body and spirit. But it also can apply to where we physically live.
If we clean our house, our yoga mats and our yoga props, it will feel sauca, or clean and orderly. It will be a blessing to arrive on our mat, to live in our homes, and to practice our yoga.
Sort Your Yoga Wardrobe
Nothing says “I don’t matter,” more than wearing yoga clothes to the mat that are ripped, stained, with worn-out elastic, that no longer fit, or that are uncomfortable. If the clothing does not spark joy, to steal a term from Marie Kondo, then it will be that much harder to spark joy in your practice.
My earliest yoga teacher stressed the importance that coming to our mats is doing a self-care ritual, and that you do not show up to any sacred observance looking a mess. If you haven’t spent a dime on yourself in years, maybe this is the year to make you a priority.
Create New Rituals that Stick
I must have bought at least three WaterPiks over the last few years, only to discover that I really dislike spraying myself with cold water. So for the new year, I am giving up this ritual in favor of new ones (see above, about goal-setting).
This year, I am making my bedtime -- without water flossing -- the most prioritized time of my day. I am looking at apps for calm, meditative thoughts, easy bedtime stories, and a new time to crawl under the covers. I’m investing in pretty pajamas (previously my husband’s undershirts) and just a renewed interest in this part of the day.
In doing so, I am saying that my self-care is critical to my well-being, and I deserve it.
What can you do to prioritize your well-being? And how can you ritualize it to make it worthy of you?
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest Goddess of them all? You, are my friend. And never doubt it.
Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an award-winning writer and vows every year that she will do better at taking care of herself. You can find her on her mat in Denver, Colorado, or at www.YogiMuse.com
If you enjoyed this blog, check out our other blogs like: "Morning Rituals", "The Magic of The Season", The Power of Affirmations," "5 Tips to Help your Mind from Wandering During Meditation," "Way Out of our Comfort Zone", "Resources for Your Well-Being"