As you’ve heard me say before, I love the New Year! I love turning the page to a brand new fresh year, full of possibility. I did away with hard and fast resolutions that start with “I will not…” a long time ago. These days I’m much more interested in positive intentions for the New Year. I’m interested in projects and goals. In 2015 my intention was to connect with nature in a deeper way and so my goal became to sleep outside more. So I created my “camp every month” project. And I did it! You can see pictures from all my camping trips on instagram. My husband and I had an amazing time and my intention to more deeply connect with nature has become a beloved and ingrained part of my life.
The project I’m taking on this year is to more deeply study the Yoga Sutras. I’m working to write my own copy of the text. Not a translation, because I can’t read sanskrit (yet!), but my own way of verbalizing the meaning I’ve come to understand from all my years of study and practice. The ultimate goal of this work is to finally create the online version of my Yoga for Transformation philosophy course. I have some fun ideas about how I’m going to design and create the course. I will keep you posted on my progress!!
So, what are your intentions for 2016? As we come to the end of the first month, do they still feel like the right ones? It’s totally exceptable to change your mind (I did!). As you settle into the year and refine your own intentions, goals, and projects, I have two resources that I hope you’ll find useful:
Resource Number One
The first is something I sent out last year. I got such great feedback about it that I wanted to share it again. It’s a good thing to do at least once a year. I call it the “Balance Discernment Wheel.” It’s a watercolor that I made so you can create a visual of the level of balance or imbalance you’re currently experiencing in your life.
How to use it: In each section (body, energy, work, play, relationships, and spirituality), place a dot somewhere on the continuum between discontent and fulfilled. Then connect the dots. The goal is a nice round circle. But most of us will end up with an odd looking shape… Don’t let this odd shape discourage you. Be grateful for the clarity it brings. Remember you can’t make changes without awareness.
Fill out the discernment wheel and then give yourself a few minutes to journal about what you’re feeling through the various layers of your being. Here are some questions centered around the panchamaya koshas to get you started:
Annamaya Kosha – The Physical Body
Are you aware of strengths and weaknesses in your body? How’s your range of motion? Do you have any unnecessary tension or asymmetry? Is there a sense of lightness in your body? Can your body withstand change (like hot and cold)?
Pranamaya Kosha – The Vital Body
How’s the quality of your sleep, digestion, and respiratory rhythms? What’s your energy level at different times of the day?
Manomaya Kosha – The Intellectual Mind
What interests you? What do you want to learn about? What did you love when you were young that you’ve had to give up? How’s the quality of your attention? Your ability to listen? Your sense of clarity?
Vijnanamaya Kosha – The Personality
What are your values and priorities? What’s most important for you? What are you doing in your life? How do these things relate? What makes you feel safe and confident? What causes you stress? Do you have faith (conviction in your choices)? How is your communication and state of mind? What are your conditioned habits (from genetics, biography, society)?
Ananadamaya Kosha – The Heart
What makes you happy? What is deeply meaningful to you? How are your relationships? Do you have inspiration, passion, and joy in your life? Do you have a sense of divinity?
Resource Number Two
The second is a recording from a workshop I taught late last year. It’s a lecture from the yoga sutras with teachings on what yoga is, who we are, how our mind works, how to practice the yoga of action (Kriya Yoga) through self-reflection, discipline, and surrender. I hope these teachings will support and inspire you! The lecture ends with a journal question so plan to give yourself a few extra minutes.
I hope these tools will support your beginning-of-the-year reflection and provide you with the insight needed to articulate and refine your intentions and goals for the coming year.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need support.
And as always, please feel free to share these teachings with anyone you know who would benefit from them.