As we welcome yet another new year, it provides us with yet another transitional opportunity to practice svadhyaya or self-study and reflect on what it is we’d like to create in our lives. For most of us, we start off with great intentions in January, and often within a month or two, our goal gets lost in the shuffle of everyday life. As the machine of daily existence keeps chugging away, it’s easy to just chug along with it, and suddenly we find ourselves right back where we were a year before.
Each new year’s eve with my family, we sit around the table and take turns saying what it is we would like to see happen in the next year of our lives. Mine, for example, has been “to meditate every day.” Last year my daughter Bella said, “Mom… you say that every year!” What?? : Really?
So as I once again ponder, “What is it that I want to create in my life?” it serves as a great opportunity for me to take a “seat.” Sit and steep. Wonder and listen. Breathe and let go. Open and welcome what enters. So often we try to control every moment of our lives. When we sit, we try to control or push out every thought. Instead, try to observe what comes in. To quote an influential teacher in my life, Tias Little, “Be open to what arises.” So simple. Always relevant.
The physical practice of yoga that we practice in class or asana was originally designed to enhance our ability to practice meditation or dhyana. We often experience the effects of the asana practice as we find ourselves often looking forward to simply laying on the hard wooden floor in savasana, welcoming a moment to let go and let ourselves just be. What other time in our lives do we allow ourselves to do that? And why, really?
As we float out after an asana class, most of us recognize that we are more centered and accepting of who we are and our life as it is in that moment. Wouldn’t it be great to just continue through every moment of our lives in that way?? Sounds easy, but as I’m sure many of you have experienced, that grounded feeling can dissipate quickly, often as soon as we walk back through our own front door. So through the process we discover that to maintain that sense of contentment, it takes consistency, dedication and practice.
So join me as I make yet another valiant effort to slow down and “sit.” To be open to what arises. See you on the other side.
With love and deep gratitude,