If you practice yoga, you may have noticed we often start each practice with a sankalpa or intention. At the beginning of a new year, many of us often set bigger "resolutions" to start the year off on a positive note. Why not start small and set a sankalpa every day? It can be a new one or keep the same one for the whole year. Take a moment to determine what value you'd like to bring into your life and focus on the positive. Rather than resolving to eat less junk food, focus on eating mindfully and healthfully today. Instead of focusing on losing weight, why not give your body a daily dose of movement, whether parking further away and walking more, dancing to music on the radio, or doing some gentle stretches in your office chair.
Do you need less stress in your life? Then cultivate moments of peace and stillness with a few minutes of belly breathing. Sit tall or lie down and place one hand on your belly and breath in deeply until your belly pushes your hand out, when you exhale, notice how your hand comes in closer to you as your belly deflates. Repeat for 3 to 10 breaths and notice how you feel. Then take the next step. Sign up for a weekly yoga or meditation class. See if you can keep it up for a month and then maybe add another weekly class.
Find out it's March or June and you didn't follow through with or forgot about your intention? It's not too late to set a new daily sankalpa. Maybe it's time for a holistic one like cultivating gratitude, compassion or peace. Extend that compassion to yourself and acknowledge all the small steps you have taken already. Happy New Year!
The Namaste From NiMaSte Blog is written by the Nimaste Yoga staff.