A Time to Go Within
Taken from article by Jennifer Chen, Yoga Journal Nov. 2020
It feels like 2020 has lasted much longer than a year. Below are some ideas from experts on how to usher in the new year and some renewed energy. Creating some rut busting inner peace routines could be the key to moving on.
Deepak Chopra has struggled to make sense of the collective chaos, writing that in a time of crisis, the impulse is to go into emergency mode of fear, concern and panic. As we say good riddance to this turbulent year, we are setting our sites on 2021 by swapping out traditional year end customs with some reset rituals to ground ourselves.
The good news is that science says repeated behaviors can help reduce stress while providing comfort because they satisfy our desire for predictability. Even counting to five can help us reset.
We can take time to honor where we’ve been so we can move into the new year with our whole selves-the good, the bad and the resilient. See if the ideas below might work for you.
Crystals are each unique and are said to carry their own energetic energy. Crystals have a vibrational energy that have the potential to alchemize into positive shifts that align with your intentions. Different stones are thought to promote specific traits. Think of the various stones as a tool to help set your intentions for the coming year. You can drop your crystals in the bath with you or soak them in water after setting your intention.
Here is a brief list of some healing stones
Quartz crystal-good for meditation and avoiding disease
Amethyst-promotes peace and removes negative energy
Agate-increases energy and relieves fatigue
Tiger Eye-good for traveling, brings energy
Aventurine-good for luck and money, gets rid of sad emotions
Sodalite-good for creativity and positive thinking
Rose quartz-brings love and confidence
Obsidian-provides protection and balance, good fortune and prosperity
Orange calcite-balances emotions, removes fear
Hematite-promote courage and strength
Unakite-promotes self-awareness and self-love
Dalmation jasper-encourages family loyalty, unity and strength
Time to Journal
This could be a time for evaluating relationships that may not be serving you. Take a look at connections that may anger or frustrate you. Ask yourself how you want to participate in the relationship. Just taking time to illuminate and navigate relationship issues that may come your way. Not just looking at compatibility but shared values. Whatever your situation, there is room in the new year to improve it. Reflect on your personality traits as well as the other person’s. Think about what you can do to make the relationship work better for you.
Get Some Self-Centered Time
Start your year-end practice with a discovery phase. Getting clear on what you need and want. Also look at what isn’t serving you. Asking loved ones what they observe about you can be enlightening. Journaling can put it out there to evaluate and set intentions. Then develop a self-centering mantra to use when meditating.
Examples might be “I have boundless creativity” or “money flows freely to me”.
Ardha Matsyendrasana Pose
By Natasha Rizopoulos
(Lord of the Fishes)
This seated spinal twist, improves posture, stimulates the digestive tract and offers a deep, cleansing stretch. I find twisting poses to be very beneficial in keeping a healthy digestive system. I strongly encourage some type of proper twisting moves every day. This particular pose can be a bit challenging if you haven’t been practicing. The variations shown below make it possible at every level of flexibility.
Start by sitting in easy pose and cross your left leg on top of your right. Root down with your sitting bones and elongate your spine. Imagine a central axis running from your pelvic floor through your torso to the crown of your head. Try to keep your body steady so you don’t sway or lean in any direction. Keep your right leg where it is, and bring your left foot to the outside of your right knee. With your left big toe, root down and drop your left outer hip. Inhale and lift your right arm toward the ceiling. Exhale and turn your torso to the left, hooking your right elbow outside your left knee. Lower your let hand to the floor beside your left hip.
Press your left knee away from your midline to create more resistance for your right elbow to work against. Inhale and elongate your central axis turning your upper body deeper into the twist. Hold for at least 5 deep breaths, unwind on an exhalation, and repeat on the other side.
Reflecting on the Eight Limbs of Yoga
Yoga philosophy consists of eight disciplines that are external, ethical disciplines (yama), internal ethical observances (niyama), poses (asanas), breath control (pranayama), sensory control and withdrawal (pratyahara), concentration (dharana, meditation (dhyana) and blissful absorption (samadhi).
Below are the traits that yogis strive to live by
- Yamas-Integrity, non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, contentment, non-owning
- Niyamas-meditation, cleanliness, contentment, spirituality, study of Yoga scriptures and ourselves
- Asana-Yoga postures -The body is a temple
- Pranayama-Breath control
- Pratyahara-objectively observe ourselves
- Samadhi-A state of ecstasy
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.