Here is the Hindu God, Ganesha, still sporting the beanie he wore at Christmas. His post is at the entrance to the Yoga Shed at Mitchells Island. He signals a friendly welcome to all students. As you can see, Ganesha has mastered the art of relaxation. He has the look of someone who has transcended the need to do physical yoga postures, or any exercise at all.
In his role as the harbinger of new beginnings, I can imagine that Ganesha is also welcoming us into the New Year. By all accounts, many of us are pinning our hopes on a simpler, more certain, healthier, less restricted new year. Ganesha can help with this too, as he is known to be the remover of obstacles. We can invoke help from this deity in eliciting inventiveness and creativity in squaring off with uncertain times.
By extension, we could probably adopt Ganesha as the Muse for our New Year’s resolutions. If, for instance, we are planning on beginning a year of regular yoga practice, healthy eating or being kinder to ourselves and others.
If you are a student of yoga philosophy, the first of January equals the ‘now’ part of Patanjali’s first sutra, “Atha Yoga-Anusasanam”. The word ‘atha’ announces, ‘Now. Let’s get down to business – let’s begin.’
The truth is that every moment is a fresh start. A new opportunity to share your goodwill. To cultivate loving kindness. To stop by the roadside and admire a sunset. To ring a friend who you’ve been thinking about. To finally get the good china out just for you. To learn some circus skills. To read ‘Lord of the Rings’ (again). To walk on the beach in the rain. Or sun. Or wind. To be a little less fearless.
I wish you happy beginnings, Ganesha’s blessings, on whatever you choose to make of this precious day and year!