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Catch a Wave

A very long time ago, 25 years to be exact, I started to personal yoga practice, and pretty much since then, I’ve kept it up. My zest for it has ebbed and flowed along the way – that’s only natural – but I’m very grateful to have made yoga my companion.

Have you resolved something for 2010? Maybe to do more yoga?

On Day One of a New Year, a brilliant and exciting resolution to do yoga practice every day calls forth enthusiasm that can become blunted by the end of the week. So, sometimes a kickstart is useful.

At Simply Yoga studio in Sydney we have a January early morning Intensive Yoga course that runs for a week which is specifically designed to help students counter the excesses of the holidays. The course is always booked out and creates a momentum for students to do home yoga practice, or at least get to classes more regularly than they might have otherwise.

If your life has been rotating between the refrigerator and couch for some time before you decided to do something about your slothful state, it may take mega resolve to keep up a commitment to change. It works well to enlist friends and family by letting them know what you intend to do. It’s much harder to break a promise to a bunch of people than one that you’ve made secretly to yourself.

Make your goal realistic. Everyday yoga practice might be too big a bite to start with, in which case you start to feel dominated by your good intentions. You don’t want to rob yourself of your enjoyment of yoga. Try on a 3-4 times a week practice, but stay with it for a month. It’s said that doing something for 30 days is what begins to lock in a habit.

I suggest you set regular times when you will do your yoga. Diarise the times, and treat them like an appointment with yourself. If you have to miss a session, re-schedule it, but do it as soon as possible.

At the same time, you don’t want to be too rigid. This is after all yoga we’re practising, which is meant to foster mental as well as physical flexibility.

Keep reminding yourself that your resolution is an opportunity, a word which derives from the Latin “opportunus”- ob- ‘in the direction of’’ plus portus ‘harbour’, as in, a friendly wind sailing us into a harbour. How great would that be? If you felt tossed around by the roiling waves of 2009, this year you could be creating your own safe refuge from disturbances each time you roll out your yoga mat.

Happy New Year!