“Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going”
A New Year can bring so much – a new start, complete with new opportunities, new energy., new strength and new vitality.
Most people take advantage of this inspiration and energy and choose to set resolutions or goals to work towards over the next twelve months.
Creating these can be hard as they require time and reflection. But sticking to them can be even harder! And commonly old habits can dishearteningly slip back and these good intentions can begin to slide. “Maybe today is a bad day to start”. “Tomorrow might be better”. “Perhaps I will have time to get back to it next week”…
As I suggested in a previous blog, we can try to avoid this by referring to the philosophy of yoga from the beginning and choosing to set a Sankalpa rather than a specific resolution . Your Sankalpa is not a specific goal, but rather a direction or destination to move towards while enjoying the journey along the way. This self-caring approach focuses on what we manage to achieve along the journey, and so a Sankalpa can have a continuing role in maintaining our commitment by positively reinforcing our self-belief and motivation to continue in the right direction. Thus, momentary “blips” or slips off path are not as devastating!
Even so, staying true to both your Sankalpa path and specific Resolutions require effort and dedication. So what can we do to help us remain dedicated when energy may wane?
Generally speaking, it is known that practicing Yoga can lead people towards positive change – both in behaviour and wellness-related actions. But there are certain types of Yoga and specific Asana that may have even more influence on the success of creating and maintaining goals and intentions.
-The Manipura Chakra: The Manipura Chakra is the third of seven Chakras and is located within the Solar Plexus. Emotionally, this Chakra handles the energy of your personal power, self-esteem and personality. This is the centre for action, energy and power. It is also the Chakra responsible for creating boundaries for ourselves. These traits are all important in setting realistic goals and resolutions, and maintaining them. Physically, this Chakra is responsible for the structure of the metabolic system, so in strengthening this system we may strengthen this Chakra. Postures that aid in digestion may therefore be helpful e.g. forward folds like Uttanasana and Paschimotanasana and twists like those in Trikonasana and Marichyasana series.
-Yin Yoga: Yin Yoga is also beneficial in learning traits to commit to and maintain goals. Practicing Yin Yoga teaches us that while postures may seem initially uncomfortable, these sensations gradually ease the longer we stay in them, and even better will lead to significant positive growth in the longer-term. This lesson can teach us to stick to our path, even though it may be momentarily difficult. Another great benefit of Yin Yoga (as opposed to energetic and physically exerting Yang Yoga) is significantly increased physical flexibility which similarly can translate to the emotional heart and mind and lead a person to becoming more flexible in their thinking and acting – another essential trait in creating and maintaining change.
-Inversions: The literal upside-down nature of headstands and inversions allows us to view things from a new perspective, which can in turn have an emotional effect on our thinking and acting and lead to the same effect in our lives off the mat. Being flexible enough to know that there are many ways to view life and situations allows us to be creative in our approach to tackling goals and tasks.
Here we go… Let’s all try to stay on path!
Love and Light