I hope your year is off to a great start! Like many of us, I have set intentions for the new year which has had me thinking about my habits.
The mind is a habit making machine and what we do over and over again is who we become. Our habits define us. One of the intentions of yoga is to replace old habits that may have served us at one time but no longer do with better habits that bring us more health, happiness, pleasure, meaning and peace. We are constantly changing and in order to keep our suffering to a minimum, we need to make sure our habits are changing as well.
When we do something without thinking about it, it is a habit. When we practice yoga, we are trying to make the unconscious, conscious. In other words, we are trying to become aware of our habits so that we can see if they are still working for us and if not, do practices to create newer, healthier ones.
If we tend to be overly competitive in all that we do and we go to a class and push ourselves beyond our capacity and try to do what someone else is doing regardless of our limitations, our practice has the potential to increase and reinforce our competitiveness which can in turn increase our suffering. In yoga, the goal is balance. We want to do something other than what we do all day every day to make sure we never get so far off center that we begin to do things without thinking about them. Once we become unconscious of a habit, it is really difficult to undo and instead of us being in charge, our habits begin to control us.
We must practice something different if we want a different result. In order for a new practice to become a habit it takes at least 21 days but for many people it is more like 60. It is important as we begin to do something new, that we are patient with ourselves and not try to change all our habits at once. It is too hard on our system to make a lot of changes at the same time and it will only lead us right back to where we started but with more frustration and less motivation to begin again. We must make small changes, stay there a while and and then once that change becomes a habit, we make another small change and so on.
So as you continue to move towards your New Year’s Creations, notice your habits. Is what you are doing allowing you to live your life in the best possible way that you can at this time? If not, then perhaps it is time to make a change. It is up to you to decide who you want to be and remember you can become that person simply by what you do over and over again.
We have some great classes, workshops and events coming up over the next couple of months, so be sure and check it out. Also save the date for our 10 year anniversary party on Wednesday March 4th! More details to come on that soon!
With infinite love and gratitude…