“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln
Resolutions aren’t just for New Years—they can be useful all year round! Whether you’re just beginning your yoga practice or celebrating its 10th year, periodically reviewing your goals or milestones and setting new ones exists as a beneficial approach to your yoga practice. Taking the time to evaluate your current level and consider how to improve will never be a waste of time. Remember: the best investments are those that you make in yourself. Not sure where to start? No problem! Here are 10 great yoga resolutions for every student:
- I will not look in the mirror
Don’t fall into the trap of peeking at what other students are doing or judging yourself: every individual is on their own yoga journey. Honor your own journey by accepting where you are now and enjoy the time you have in working through this stage. Focus on improving your own yoga practice instead of trying to compete with fellow practitioners.
- I will look in the mirror
Number 1 is valid; however, the mirrors can be a useful tool in helping you improve your alignment! Use the mirrors for constructive criticism. Check during triangle pose to see if your arms are reaching towards 6 and 12…the mirrors may reveal your arms are giving 7 and 2 more love, and you can correct them for better posture alignment.
- I will honor my flexibility
While some people are born with incredible flexibility, others must earn it one millimeter at a time. If you’re naturally flexible,you’ll likely use yoga to gain more strength and balance. If you’re working towards flexibility, respect the process and honor the small achievements as they happen: eventually those toes will be in your reach and bound angel or Forward fold will become a personal achievement.
- I will feel okay not knowing Sanskrit terminology Learning any new language takes time, exposure, and interest. It’s okay if you’re not interested in the Sanskrit names for the postures practiced in class. The information is provided to honor the roots of yoga, but it’s not essential to a successful practice.
- I will smile when I wobble
Wobbling in a posture means you’re trying it! You’re asking your body to find balance and your body is rising to the challenge. Some days will be more wobbly than others. Don’t worry about it: everybody wobbles, and everybody keeps going. Just channel your inner Dory and repeat this mantra: “Just keep trying, just keep trying…”.
- I will honor my limits
Yoga exists as a mind-body practice, and your mind should listen to your body when it requests a gentler approach in a pose. Yoga’s been around for 5,000 years and will be around for 5,000 more. You have the time to build the strength, flexibility, and stamina to increase your mastery of each posture according to your body’s needs. This is a journey, honor it.
- I will ask questions
Your yoga instructors welcome questions; they want to help you improve your practice. Don’t be afraid to ask a question during the class even if it’s quiet. Ask if your feet are correct in warrior or if ½ moon posture is in alignment. The slightest adjustments can make all the difference to both the safety and comfort of a pose.
- I will avoid looking at the clock during my session
Skip looking at the clock and allow yourself to be fully in the moment. Relax and enjoy the many physical and mental benefits yoga offers its students. Sometimes the hardest mental work involves being able to let the day go and clear the mind.
- I will strengthen my home practice
Showing up to class once a week is a wonderful beginning but to truly enjoy the benefits of yoga as a whole-body practice, try committing to a home yoga practice. Whether you create your own yoga flows or follow a DVD or on-demand routine, strengthen your home practice as much as you can. Ultimately, all that practice will lead to perfection!
- I will show up (or make-up)
Life happens. We all know this to be true; however, when illness strikes, or family obligations supersede yoga commitments, commit to making up the class. Consider using make-up classes to try new yoga teachers and/or classes. Curious about the family yoga class or yoga/Pilates fusion class? Use a make-up to explore; you just may find your new favorite class!
Personal resolutions may seem silly, but they provide a positive framework for personal improvement. Write them out, post them, or simply keep them at the forefront of your mind. And while these 10 yoga resolutions are a fabulous start for all yoga students, they are by far not the only ones! Modify these and tailor them to your practice in a way that best suits you. Enjoy a warming cup of tea while you sit down and decide how to best improve your yoga practice. What yoga resolutions would you suggest to fellow yoga students?