New Year 2019

New Year 2019


 The challenges of each year do not end when a new one begins, yet even just the thought of a fresh start stimulates the creative juices and opens up opportunities for positive change.

If last year’s challenges were particularly testing then this is a good time to take stock and plant the seeds of change for resolution and healing to take place.

The changes we implement during the winter solstice are powerful because they tend to come from a place of deep reflection at a time when our focus is turned inwards and our imagination is stimulated by the darkness that prevails.

At times it can seem that our world is in turmoil and we need to remember that just as day follows night, so, in the same way, tranquillity follows turmoil.

We are all subject to the fluctuations of life. When the pendulum swings in one direction it inevitably returns to the centre and off to the opposite side. 

The heartbreak and disappointments of life give rise to maturity and empathy and each year we become a little more empathic and wiser to the way of things.

Perhaps the most valuable resource we have in coping with life’s challenges is in our ability to let go. Our capacity to change and move on depends on how well we forgive one another and ourselves for the adversities we perceive in our lives.

Perhaps this year, more than ever, we need to hold onto the Yoga ethics of Yama and Niyama, but especially we must interpret them wisely and question our motives when applying them to our lives so that we are sure that we are not simply interpreting them to fit in with our existing personal views. Real change requires that we let go of our linear thinking and expand our minds to create new beginnings.

When the changes we make are profound, they may well lead to a completely fresh start. Yet beginnings can be fraught with difficulties, as they require moving out of our comfort zone into the unknown. What should we take with us and what will we let go?

I particularly love this quote on Beginning written by David Whyte: 


Beginning well involves a clearing away of the crass, the irrelevant, and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineaments of the essential and the necessary.

Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking that first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness. Perhaps, because taking a new step always leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing now to offer, are let go, with all the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the very last fight occurs, a rear guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead.*


Perhaps this term, as we enter a new year, we can focus on the concept of Vairagya. (Non- Attachment/ letting go) and consider taking that leap towards a new beginning. Whatever stage of life we are in, there will always be beliefs we carry that are no longer relevant in our lives and that hold us back from becoming what we are capable of being. As we age this is particularly important because these limiting thoughts will ensure that we fail to move on and will narrow down our vision of any future potential. The principle of Vairagya tests our ability to continue embracing the changes that our lives inevitably present without clinging on to the past. It requires that we remain in the present moment and actively engage in living without clinging on to the past or trying to control the future. When we act according to these values we become less stuck in our ways and more open and curious to explore what is possible.

In Yoga class we often observe our negative beliefs during asana practice when faced with challenges. Our willingness to try something different and to become more playful is our first indication that we are letting go of our attachment to old beliefs that we simply can’t do something. The enquiries that we make in practice allow us to focus on what is possible rather than what is not.

As always we will find so much more meaning as we progress through the term holding this concept in mind. I always look forward to your input and learn so much from you all.

Let’s make this a good year moment by moment.

I wish you all a happy 2019.

Who knows where we are going but it is a joy to share the journey with you all.

Om Om Om.



*From Consolations by David Whyte. 


Published by liz on Friday, 4 January 2019, last updated on Friday, 4 January 2019 at 7:02PM
Categories: Yoga Times, New Year

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