I find it too easy to let my yoga routine slip for a week or two over Christmas. It’s just too tempting to leave my mat in the cupboard, especially if I’ve got that sluggish feeling from eating too many mince pies. I’ve managed, however, to see in the new year without feeling too over-full or guilty.
I love New Year because it’s a whole new beginning. For many people that means feeling motivated to start a healthy new lifestyle, whilst for others it means the chance to build on achievements from the year before. It’s such an exciting, forward-looking time - which makes it easy to forget to be in the now.
Being present is the foundation of yoga, but it's precisely those habitual resolutions about health, weight loss and personal appearance can be a distraction from reaching these goals. The paradox is that whilst self-acceptance, a healthy body and a peaceful mind can be achieved through yoga, no health or appearance advantages can beat the pure bliss that comes when thought, breath and body are moving in harmony.
The benefits of yoga are many and they’re important – of course, who doesn’t want to be healthy and look great? - so feel free to follow the media stories that tell you to stay slim, stay fit, get into a difficult asana pose, but also know that these wonderful benefits are a pleasant starter, not the whole deal.
Yoga is a highly refined tool designed to cultivate a beautiful, deeply intimate experience of who you really are. So, don’t miss the bliss and enjoy the practice exactly as you are with every breath in the here & now.
Happy new year from all of us at Kaliyoga
Jonji & Rosie Miles