Happy New Year! And what to do this week.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day is a favourite of mine. That crisp, bold 1 on the calendar marking the beginning of a new year ahead so full of the potential and possibility.

This year on New Year’s Day I joined a 7 mile running event across Bodmin Moor and up to the highest point in Cornwall. It was muddy, extremely hilly and so steep in parts, with an almost vertical climb to reach the highest point.

At one point I fell over, my foot stuck in the uneven earth, but I clambered back up and kept going. It took A LOT of determination and will power, something that in yoga we call ‘tapas’ (fiery discipline or intense commitment).

After the run, despite shaky legs and a bright red face, I felt on top of the world. I’d completed something I wasn’t sure beforehand I’d even be able to do! I’d stood on the highest point in Cornwall and taken in the incredible views for miles around, cheered on and encouraged by so many smiling runners and supporters. 

Whilst I don’t set new year’s resolutions what I do really like to do is to fill the first week of the year with the things I want to do more of in the upcoming year, the activities that feel most joyful, uplifting and exciting to me.  This sets the tone perfectly for the year ahead and begins to effortlessly create new habits and routines around those things. And it’s really fun. 

So this week I’ll be setting aside plenty of time on my yoga mat, I’ll be heading out on some long walks and curling up with a good book or two as well as writing regularly (starting now with this note to you). And it feels perfect that this Saturday I’ll be teaching a special new year yoga workshop in London. Sharing my favourite poses, practices and sequences to energise and feel good in the new year.

What will you be doing this week? Do you have a long list of New Year’s resolutions? If you do like setting New Year’s resolutions I’d encourage you to make them really positive, encouraging and feel good rather than negative, difficult or a struggle to maintain.

And if New Year’s resolutions aren’t for you do try my New Year’s practice of filling your week with as many of the things you want to bring in to the year ahead…

try this new year practice right now

Think about the things you really enjoyed over the last year. What springs to mind straight away? When did you feel your most joyful, inspired, relaxed, focussed? Can you do more of these things and bring in more of those feelings this week (and consequently this year!)?

Take a minute to reflect on the things you love doing. The hobbies, activities, creative endeavours that make you feel good. Perhaps in the busyness of your day to day these have got a little left behind. Make time for them in this special first week of the new year. Dust off your paint brushes, buy a new book, take some photos, lace up your trainers and get active, whatever it is you love to do, do it now!

Or maybe there’s something totally new you’d love to try in 2019, start it this week. If you want to learn a new language, download a learning app on your phone. If you want to travel somewhere beautiful do a little internet research. If you want to practice more yoga start with an online class or book in to a workshop. Whatever it is, do something this week to begin it.

But please don’t feel under pressure to do too much. This should be fun. It can be the tiniest action, the smallest start, just begin. Remember this is all about taking the time for, and enjoying, the things you love, that light you up and make you feel good. So move slowly and with a smile in to this exciting, first week of the year.

And if some yoga is a part of what you’ll be doing this week, here are some suggestions for you. If you’re feeling tired and low on energy try this gorgeous yin practice, for slow and stretchy movement my 25 mins for your hamstrings class could be perfect for you and for something more dynamic my feel good flow class will help you to feel wonderfully energised!

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