New Year 2020

New Year 2020


A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tsu.


This new year marks the dawning of a new decade.

All new beginnings suggest that changes are afoot, and a new decade seems somehow much more momentous than a new year. The small steps we take this decade on our journey will be instrumental in shaping its defining character in years to come.

Where in the last century we had the roaring twenties, perhaps this century’s twenties will be associated with innovation and restoration?

I do not remember a time in my life where global issues were at such a critical point. 

Like most of our age group, I grew up in a household where my family had suffered the horrors of two wars and were grateful for so much that we now take for granted.

 As a child, I learnt to appreciate the simplicity of life from a generation of people who would waste nothing and would adapt their ways to adjust to the new era that was upon them. 

It was a time for optimism with the promise of a better life in the future.

Consumerism was a novelty concept which held opportunities for improving our lives.

We adapted and changed in ways that were unimaginable to previous generations.

We explored the world in adventurous new ways and experimented with the cultures and traditions that we discovered on our journey.

Where once Yoga was confined to the realms of weird and not so wonderful, it became a viable path for holistic growth and development.

 It made us aware of our freedom to choose.

Yet despite this phenomenal shift in consciousness it seems that sadly we have become collectively more destructive in our search for a better life and ignored the teachings available to us, choosing instead the option of self-gratification.

In what seems like the blinking of an eye we are at the gateway to a very different global outlook than we were back then and it is hard to pin point exactly how that happened, yet we still have the ability to adapt to ensure a future in which our children can live fulfilling lives.

Human adaptability is what has ensured our survival up to this point, and we are more than ever in need of an optimistic outlook that encourages innovative thinking, to create the changes that are needed right now. Indeed there is much we can learn from past generations, from the use of more natural and sustainable materials in the manufacturing of goods to the re-use and recycling of resources, we need to reintroduce some of the sustainable traditions that featured in the post war culture where scarcity ensured a waste free society, whilst using all available wisdom to create new viable options for sustained living. 

As a child I remember collecting empty bottles to return to shops in order to get the small fee that was offered on returns. 

We had the rag and bone man who would come with his horse and cart to collect and recycle the things we no longer needed, and the milkman would deliver the milk in glass bottles and then collect them once they were empty. The bins were never full to the brim because we did not buy everything packed in plastic. The astonishing thing about all of this is that it really wasn’t that long ago. So many changes that have taken place since my childhood have been good and ensured a more comfortable lifestyle, yet there is so much unnecessary wastage that has had a negative impact on our earth and created what now seems to be insurmountable problems.

Many of the old traditions offer us some good insights into how we might return to a more sustainable existence.

We are also blessed with technology that has the potential to find new and innovative methods of sustainable living. Never have we had so much creative potential. 

The holistic nature of Yoga offers us insightful practices that challenge our thinking and open our minds to new ways to live our lives. Yoga is constantly reminding us of our connection to each other and our environment. The health and wellbeing of the individual is completely dependent on the collective wellbeing of all around us. We cannot exist alone and will always be deeply affected by collective health issues. The need to value and care for family and friends and the land that sustains us is more evident than ever before. It is easy to feel disconnected and helpless when we see the suffering and sickness in our world but every gesture of goodwill, we make towards our immediate environment will have a knock-on effect as that energy grows. In Ayurveda we are familiar with the term that ‘Like increases Like’, the more we practice kindness and patience the more others will do the same.  Equally the more we associate with happiness in our thinking, the happier we become.

As such, Yoga offers us different levels of meditation to focus the mind and manage our relationships with one another, whilst knowledge of the Pancha Maha Bhutas or Five Great Elements along with the Chakra system allows us to better understand our environment and the undercurrents of energy that manifest within it. 

Yogic meditation is not religious but sets out methods by which we can observe our thought processes and influence the creative use of imagination and become more aware of how we connect with one another. It reveals previously unseen patterns in our thought processes that can be changed once they are exposed to us.

We often fail to appreciate the power of thought and do not always recognise the control we have over our thinking.

It can come as a shock when we realize how much we regulate our outlooks through habitual negativity and limited thinking.

So perhaps this year we will include various meditative practices as a regular feature in our class in order to positively influence the vibrational energy of collective consciousness and revisit the Chakras and Pancha Maha Bhutas to better connect with our environment.

Learning to focus our minds in positive ways creates a predisposition towards happiness and fulfilment.

Happiness is within our grasp if we care to abide by its principles, but we can only do that when we understand the workings of the mind.

So, I invite you all to become more proactive in your quest for happiness through the practices of meditation and create for yourselves a very happy new year and a decade that we can look back on with pride for the changes we made.


Published by liz on Wednesday, 1 January 2020, last updated on Wednesday, 1 January 2020 at 1:16PM
Categories: Yoga Times, New Year

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