I’ve overindulged this festive season. For the last two years I haven’t been able to drink or eat naughty food. Two years ago I was newly pregnant and last year I had a four month old baby who wouldn’t sleep longer than 45 mins at a time. Neither situations brought out party-time Keren.
So this year I enjoyed yummy soft cheeses, I celebrated with prosecco, I stayed up late to play board games and sipped a ice filled glass of baileys…and now I need to do something about it. The time to cleanse and detox is upon us.
At the yoga studio we always get busy in January as people rush to lose the kilos and honour their new year resolutions. Have you thought about your resolutions yet? If yes, ditch them and if no, don’t bother. Set a sankalpa or two instead.
Each year around this time I do two things:
1. I reflect on my year and write a paragraph to share on Facebook featuring the years milestones. I’ve done this for the past four years and I love reading back over them.
2. I set a sankalpa or two for the year ahead and I often use these sankalpa’s in class when the teacher asks me to set my intention.
Here is the paragraph that I will be sharing on my personal Facebook page to honour 2014:
2014 began with a challenge. A baby that wouldn’t sleep and a version of me that was so sleep deprived I didn’t recognise myself. Frank learnt to sleep and I learnt to surrender. I travelled to Bali and became a better teacher thanks to my teachers. I formed one of the strongest friendships I have ever had with a beautiful Canadian glamazon. I made new friends and strengthened bonds with old friends, often through yoga. I watched my son turn one just a few months before I turned 40. Alongside my business partner/friend/mentor I delivered a joint training course. I took a giant leap into the abyss and moved with my family to the UK for a while. I stood beside my ever amazing sister and fought back tears as she said ‘I do’, and I came the closest I’ve ever come to mastering the handstand. 2015 is a blank canvas, I hope to paint it with vivid memories of a wonderful year spent in Cornwall with my partner by my side and my son in my arms.
As for setting a sankalpa, here’s how you do it. First of all forget the whole ‘I will’ thing. You know, ‘I will lose weight, I will go to yoga three times a week, I will write a book, I will be a better partner/mother/friend’ etc etc. the trouble with these traditional resolutions is they imply that you are not good enough just as you are.
Now I’m all for self improvement and growing your mind and spirit but as Gurmukh so wisely says ‘yoga is about self acceptance not about self improvement’. So with that in mind set a sankalpa that will help you grow but that also honours how amazing you are already.
So let’s brainstorm a sankalpa. First think about what you want to manifest this year. Maybe you’ve been a bit blue in 2014, so write down all the words that you can think of that are the opposite to feeling blue. Then write down a simple statement in the present tense that incorporates your favourite of these words – ‘I am full of joy’ or ‘bliss is my true nature’. Or maybe you’d like to become vegan this year, rather than saying ”I will not eat meat’ how about ‘I am living ahimsa and honouring my body’.
My sankalpa last year was ‘I am fully present in each and every moment’. The reason for this sankalpa was that I was NEVER present, at the start of the year I was sleep deprived and couldn’t stay focused on a simple conversation let alone an hour on a yoga mat. So at the start of each class (and in many situations off the mat) this was my mantra. And I like to think it made a difference. I’m still not as focused as I was pre Frank but I am getting better.
This year my sankalpa is ‘I am the change I want to see.’
(And I will also be cutting back on the carbs and stepping up the vinyasa a notch)