Try something new and stick to it (and maybe the yoga mat)
A few days into the New Year – how are those resolutions going, have you even started?
Statistics (as opposed to lies) show that resolutions seldom work, yet we persist with making them (and lying about them).
I reckon a big part of the problem is that we often focus on giving things up, on letting things go – and then we simply let go of the resolutions when things get too hard. We give up on giving up!!
While it’s well and good to break bad habits, I reckon its letting new things into our lives that is the key to real growth.
Like love, forgiveness, laughter, joy – sounds good. And change – but not change directed at stopping some habit or giving something up. Change focused on trying (and actually committing to) something new, something that stetches you. Letting in.
I think we are often too ready to berate ourselves about our bad habits, to be hard on ourselves about doing the painful work of letting go of past pain, mistakes etc, rather than simply allowing ourselves to say YES to the things we can let into our lives that will bring about change just as surely (and more easily) than all the effort of giving up and letting go.
You don’t have to wait until you’ve let go of all the bad stuff, to let in the good. The good stuff boots out the bad.
We let go of pain when we let in joy, we conquer fear when we let in love. We get rid of old when we make room for new.
With that in mind I’m trying something new and releasing a lot of sweat in the process. And letting in a lot of (hot) air as I breathe in as deeply as I can in a room that could pass for a sauna.
My newfound love (that’s a strong word for something that leaves me such a sweaty, stinking mess) for hot yoga is not a New Year’s resolution. I tried it out in early November then signed up for a $500 pass, which I commenced using in mid-December, a couple of weeks after I had a little skin cancer removed. By the time I tucked into Christmas dinner (I even did a class on Christmas Eve) I’d already released lots of toxic bad stuff out of my body to make room for the toxic and tasty stuff I stuffed back in!
I’ve done about half a dozen classes over the holiday period (which is not bad for a holiday period) and I think I’m hooked (which is very good for this early in the New Year).
It’s early days yet, but with the cash splashed and with sweat (but no blood or tears), I’m determined to stick to it (and the mat).
For me hot yoga is not so much of a stretch (OK no more clichés), as I’ve been doing yoga for about 12 years, at times frequently, at other times on and off. But I’ve found hot yoga challenging me in ways that most other classes I’ve done haven’t – in part because you are able to go into poses more deeply with your muscles so warm and your heart rate really gets going. I still intend to do other types of ‘regular’ yoga and I miss the mediative relaxation time (it’s hard to relax more than a few minutes in the heat). Having said that, there’s a definite calming, focusing effect in ignoring the discomfort of the heat and sweating, in order to stay in the pose and in the present. And its great for the skin!
I’ll post more about hot yoga (I do it at the new Fireshaper studio at Bundall, Gold Coast, which offers classes which mix different styles including Bikram and Vinyasa flow) once I’ve gotten further into the practice and learn to understand its benefits.
In the meantime I’d love to know what things you are going to let into your life in 2013, what new things you are going to try (and stick to). How are you going to stretch yourself in 2013?