Hey there, happy New Year!
Every year when January rolls around, goals and resolutions become the hot topic. When the month comes to a close, most of us have all but forgotten, or simply given up, on our best laid intentions. This year, let’s move away from those rigid terms and opt instead for creating a foundation for our entire year ahead!
Creating a foundation for your year is a lot like creating a foundation for your practice. At the studio this past month, we intertwined the idea of foundation into our classes, but the real benefit of any class/practice comes when you take what you learn on the mat and find application for it in your life. Here a few ideas that showcase this concept:
First lets get on our mats and take a look at the yoga posture - Mountain Pose or Tadasana.
We begin creating this posture from the ground up. We quite literally establish our foundation beginning with our feet. What we are looking for is a firm yet flexible base. If you were to stand a 2 x 4 piece of wood on its end, though rigid, it lacks stability and therefore is easily tipped over. In much the same way, without establishing the foundation of mountain pose at our feet, we will miss out on a good deal of stability throughout our body. Establishing stability in mountain becomes the gateway for maintaining stability when we begin to explore other postures, like tree!
In much the same way that our feet create the firm yet flexible foundation in mountain pose, mountain pose provides the firm yet flexible foundation for our entire practice. The next time you are on your mat, challenge yourself to find “mountain” in all sorts of different postures. From tree, to plank, to the warrior postures… the essence of mountain is always present. The magic lies in the flexibility of the foundation.
A flexible foundation offers is a blueprint that internally becomes a memory. As we practice mountain pose over an over, day after day, our memory of the posture begins to develop a pattern, and eventually it becomes an automatic habit. Once we have our habit established, it takes so much less effort to maintain it! But our foundation is not where we will stay. Our foundation offers something we can use as a reference, to check in with, to make assessments and decisions based upon, and ultimately to create from. We wouldn’t want to stand on our mat in mountain pose for an hour and say our practice was complete. We want to use our foundation to explore and grow.
Now lets take this concept and bring it into our daily reality. Each January offers a clean slate to create something in our lives. Therefore, just as we need a foundation for our practice, what we need for the year ahead is a firm yet flexible foundation. Once established we can spend the year creating! Doesn't that sound like a more motivating way to look at the roll over of the calendar?
Go ahead, allow yourself to give up on your resolutions for the year! But don’t give up on your desires. Spend some time refining what you truly desire into something that can serve as the foundation for the entire year. Choose something that you are excited about establishing in your life, and be sure that it offers enough flexibility to allow you to grow and change! Lastly, don't forget to bring your foundation with you onto the mat to practice.