If you are thinking of setting any New Year's resolutions (especially of the yoga kind), my unasked-for advice is to keep them simple, long-term, and bullshit free. There is room for improvement in all of us, but nobody is getting an overnight transformation. We don't suddenly need a different 'bod' to the one we had yesterday; we don't need to punish ourselves for indulging in too many mince pies, and we certainly don't need to pay for a service, object, or miraculous foodstuff that claims it will sort our lives out for us (especially if an amount of days is specified).
I'm not trying to downtalk New Year's resolutions; sometimes a change, or a challenge, is exactly what we need. New Year, like the first, crisp, blank page in a fresh, new notebook (who doesn't love that?) can be useful for garnering the energy to take action. It's the pursuit of being somebody else, somebody we idealise as being 'better' than we already are, that I take issue with. Our 'goodness' does not rest on a conditional and projected sense of self. We can all be better, sure, but we don't need to defer our wellbeing to the completion of a self-appointed task.
Instead of "When I lose weight/drink less/quit smoking, I will be happy", we could think "I am going to lose weight/drink less/quit smoking because my health is important".
Instead of "When I can meditate for an hour, I will be content", we could think "I'm going to set aside some time to meditate because I am curious about my state of mind".
Instead of "When I can perform Pincha Mayurasana (forearm stand), I will be good at yoga" we could think "I'm going to practise [insert challenging posture] because I am interested to see if I can redefine the limits of what I believe to be possible at this moment in time."
Perhaps this can be viewed as a lesson in self-marketing trickery - glass half-empty, versus glass half-full - but I can't shake the thought that a month spent 'detoxing' compels us to spend a month believing that we (or the lives we lead) are toxic. I struggle to see how this belief could help any of us in perpetuity. (Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.)Read More