When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, I’m a firm believer in small, incremental goals, achieved over a realistic period of time.
Steps, drops in a bucket, pennies. It all adds up. A small goal is initially less dramatic, but almost always more sustainable over time. And over time – – days, weeks, months – – is when lasting change takes root.
What if you began 2018 with a small but sustainable resolution about your yoga or Hot Pilates practice, rooted in curiosity and optimism and a belief in the power of showing up for yourself on the regular?
Here are 5 ideas for possible resolutions. If you take one on, let us know. We’d love to encourage you along the way and get updates as you move through the year!
- Ask us how many times you came to class in 2017, and see if you can “beat your record” next year. If you come just two additional times a month, that equals 1.5 entire extra 24-hour days of yoga over the course of the year, which is no small potatoes! Keep track in a calendar or make your own sticker chart at home.
- Become an expert about one posture this year. Ask questions, read about the posture online, put extra effort in during class, do “homework” after class (teachers can help you with this!). Make this the year that you really understand alignment and make thoughtful progress in Standing Bow Pulling or Rabbit or Final Stretching or whichever posture captures your attention and curiosity.
- Get serious about Savasana. Really privilege your Savasanas during class. Or make it a habit to stay in the final Savasana for an extra minute or two… or even five. When life moves at such a fast pace, it can feel like you need those extra two minutes to get it all done, but if you can use them to keep your body still and just notice what’s going on in your mind, calmly and without judgment, you’ll feel the benefits all day long.
- Dedicate 2018 to a focus on one body part or element of this practice. Maybe this is the year you really concentrate on how your feet feel on the floor, how your body weight is distributed in each posture or Hot Pilates move. Maybe you work on contracting your abdominal muscles in postures that call for that. You could focus on lengthening your spine before you bend it or pay special attention to where your eyes are supposed to be directed. You could even keep a small notebook in your yoga bag and make a small entry after class every day. One day might not feel very different from the next, but you are guaranteed to have learned a lot by this time next year.
- Enjoy. The 26/2 series and the Hot Pilates class are both challenging practices, and that’s where their power to heal and strengthen your body and mind come from. It is easy to feel what is hard or uncomfortable in each posture, each move. It’s more difficult, sometimes, to feel what feels great in each posture. Maybe this is the year that you find one aspect of each thing you do in class that feels good, and let that fill your experience.
2017 has been a wonderful year at The Hot Yoga Factory, and we’re all looking forward to more great classes in 2018. Happy New Year!
–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford