02 Jan 3 Yoga Tips to Stay Focused on Your Fitness Goals During the New Year
This new year, we can use yoga postures and yoga wisdom to stay focused on our fitness goals. Here’s how.
1. Begin a ritual that reflects your needs. Hot yoga, unlike other fitness regimens or healthy practices, was astoundingly easy to stick with for me. Showing up and sweating out the postures quickly became a “must,” not a “should.”
It became a ritual that shaped my deeply held values. As a result, yoga became something that wasn’t worth missing. If you want to handle the new year like a pro, turn off the television. Ignore the articles and news reports forecast bad weather and new year’s stress.
It’s all just noise. Keep your head down, figure out what your standards are, create rituals around them, and do what fitness activities you need to stay sane.
2. Forgive yourself. When we first start practicing yoga, we want to excel. If we slip and fall during class or confront a challenging backbend, we assume that something must have gone horribly wrong.
But it’s simply life doing what it does. We need to accept the fact that, along with the billions of other people on the planet, we’re imperfect individuals, just as likely as anyone else to be hit by the slings and arrows of outrageous, but perfectly normal, misfortune.
Buddhists and Hindus call this approach to life maitri or mettā, which centers on developing loving kindness in our unconditional friendship with ourselves. Life is hard enough, no reason to make it harder by beating ourselves up when we miss a day at the gym or eat our bodyweight in dinner rolls.
3. Integrate mindfulness into the chaos. This year, you will be glad to have yoga in your fitness arsenal. Not just for postures, but for principles.
My teacher has a great saying: The brain is a bad neighborhood. Stay out of it. Great advice for the new year. Mindfulness is always available to us as a tool to settle the mind.
Calmly say to yourself, oh, would you look at that, there appears to be some anxiety here, interesting. By catching our restless thoughts and separating ourselves from indulging in them, we find a peaceful route out of that bad neighborhood and ease into the wide-open space of calm.
Remember these tips, and you will say namaste in the new year.
Scott Ginsberg is the author of 365 Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat: A Year in Hot Yoga.
Buy your copy here!