Like most people I've been using the special energy of the passing into the new year to cultivate an intention for my practice in 2017. Many people see the time as an opportunity to examine their life and make a resolution or several. It's often to do with fitness or diet, health or energy related. Sometimes it's a blanket change or lifestyle change; sometimes a series of little steps, or just one thing that could make the difference to how they will feel in 12 months' time. Often it is the little intentions that are the most far reaching, not to mention achievable.
Yoga studios are buzzing as students new and experienced alike come
along with a fresh vigour and are committed to doing more yoga, more regularly. Yay, keep it up; it's great for us teachers ;) Some have a list of postures they want to master, finishing the primary or second series in Ashtanga, mastering a headstand, or developing their meditation practice... All noble challenges, if that's where you are at.
But while still in this cocoon of nurture, with friends and family around, and with the world in so much turmoil, it's been a chance to stop and appreciate how lucky I am. And yes that feeling of being loved and held makes me want to extend that feeling to all my students and beyond. Don't worry, I won't invade your space and hug you mid warrior ;)
If as yet, you are still cultivating the perfect resolution for your yoga practice this year, how about making a collective resolve to appreciate, or notice what we are good at.
That each time we get on the mat — every morning or the start of each class — to check in with the body and mind and notice what feels good about us; where we are feeling good, where we are feeling space... and then breathe from there, expand that feeling of spaciousness.
It's interesting to see how it differs each day. Spaciousness behind the heart, the feeling of breath in the belly, relaxed limbs, a clear head... And start from there. Try it. Start from the point of pleasure, rather than pain and see if it changes anything about the quality of your practice.