On January 1st I will teach a class entitled: “New Year's Day Yoga: Release, Renew, and Resolve” at the Aberdeen YMCA. It combines movement, breath, and self reflection to release what is no longer serving us as individuals, so we can create better living. It is a great alternative to new year resolutions which can be an exercise in self loathing wherein we inventory all the things wrong with us, and shame ourselves into trying to do better. Movement and ritual combine to help you embody change.
I invite you to share in the class with me. If you can't make the drive, no problem. Here is a basic outline of the class. Feel free to add your own personal style to it, and invite someone to join you.
Center. I like the crocodile pose. Breathe deeply, breathe three dimensionally. Breath into the mid back area of your kidneys and adrenals. Fill this space with new energy and breath. Be present to your body. Without judgment notice how it feels to be in your body today
Inhale and exhale Love. Like a fish that is surrounded in water, all that is around you is love. Inhale and exhale Love. Feel self compassion. Activate a feeling of kindness towards yourself, such as you would extend to a child, a bird with a hurt wing, or to a good friend.
On old newspapers, with a pen or magic marker, write events, words, ideas, and or actions from 2014 that did not go well, that you regret, that need apology, that you would label as failure, mistakes, or negative. Be honest, open, and vulnerable with yourself. No one will see this, so be free to let it out.
Now with gusto rip up what you wrote. Tear it into tiny pieces. Have fun with this ritual of release. As you throw away the shredded paper affirm: “May these negative events, feelings, ideas, and actions and any harm related to them be dissolved and released.”
Do forward bend releasing, letting go poses of your choice.
Lie on your back, left hand on your navel, right hand on your chest. Make your left hand move as you breathe deeply. Then make your right hand move. Now make both hands move.
Reflect on what you miss as a result of the fast paced, changing, stressed times we live in. What, do you long for, that will probably never be the same. For example, I miss the fun, easy, friendly attitude of air travel before 9/11, and the war on terror.
If you would like, speak these out loud.
Do your favorite yoga twist poses. While doing them, shift from a 'miss it' feeling to an attitude of gratefulness. Instead of lament, be thankful that you had what you had before it was gone. For example, I am grateful I had the opportunity to travel when it was easy, and my mom and dad could walk me up to my boarding gate to say goodbye, and security was just a quick walk through a metal detector. From a place of gratefulness, leave the past behind.
Now it is time for back bends, and chest opening poses. As you do them, call to mind all of the things you did right in 2015. What went well, what were you proud of? Remember the nice things you did, when your timing was just right, how you helped others. Surround yourself in a blizzard of appreciation. Well done good and faithful servant!
Move into standing poses of your choice, focusing on courage and standing firm for yourself, and what you believe in and value.
Time for a final relaxation. Lying on your back, breathe Love. After a few deep breathes, deliberately activate a feeling of appreciation and gratitude by calling to mind something that makes you feel grateful. It can be your beloved pet, a favorite place, a memory from childhood, remembering something someone did for you...anything that gets you present to feeling thankful.
From this elevated feeling of gratefulness, envision clear thoughts and images of :
How you want to be
What you want to do
What you want to have..............in 2015.
End your final relaxation affirming:
May I be safe,
May I be healthy,
May I be happy,
May I live with ease.
Then affirm it for your family and friends:
May my family and friends be safe,
May my family and friends be safe,
May my family and friends be healthy,
May my family and friends be happy,
May my family and Friends live with ease.
Then affirm it for all people of the planet:
May people everywhere be safe,
May all people be healthy,
May inhabitant of this earth be happy,
May all creation live with ease.
Come out of your relaxation, and sprinkle yourself with a bit of essential oil in water (I recommend Young Living, 'Valor' ) blessing yourself, “May I live the life I envision and desire in 2015.”
Take a sticky note and fill it with word(s) and or image(s) that remind you of your new conscious creations for 2015. Post it so you can look at if often. Let it remind you of your new you.
New year coaching special: One life coach session with Colleen, $30.00.