If you're like most people this time of year, you may have made a new year's resolution. What did you choose to start or do differently this year? Paint the house. Go to the gym so you can lose 20 pounds. Build a backyard deck. Have a healthy breakfast every morning. All of these goals and intentions are well and good, but sometimes we can set our standards too high and except too much from ourselves. As we start these missions, we begin with good intentions, but sometimes realize that the goal feels overwhelming or even unattainable.
Let's all experience success this new year. Keep your goals, but set smaller more attainable goals that lead you toward the finish line. If you're wanting to go to the gym to lose 20lbs, set a more attainable goal by stating to yourself: "I'm going to the gym TODAY and I will do 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill." If you set a more realistic goal, you're more likely to achieve it. Set mini-goals for your larger goals and intentions.
As a home yoga practice, let's focus on something very simple yet very important to the yoga practice: the breath. In order to become more flexible, strong, and well grounded with yoga, one must begin with breath. Start simply. Breath is the foundation of any yoga practice. So before you hit that Bikram Yoga class for the first time, why not begin with something you KNOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE.
Sit on your yoga mat or even take a comfortable seat in a chair. Close your eyes and begin to pay attention to your breathing. Just be aware of the fact that you are inhaling and exhaling. Breathe in a fashion so that you can hear your breath and feel your breath. It takes effort and attention to breathe deeply, and by doing so, you are bringing a greater awareness to yourself. THIS IS YOGA. Stay focused on your breath for 1 or 2 minutes. That's it. That can be your yoga practice for the day. It's that simple.
As a challenge or perhaps as a resolution for 2011, take the next 5 days and do this very simple breathing exercise. It ONLY takes a minute and you will have COMPLETED YOUR GOAL of doing yoga for the day.
Let us know how you're doing with your yoga practice by submitting a comment on this blog. In the meantime, have a wonderful day.