Whether you’re an experienced yogi or have just been toying with the idea of a yoga class, the turning of the year is the perfect time to shake up your routine. Most of us have some extra time off and have used some of it to indulge the belly spirit, as the Ancient Greeks would’ve said. Perhaps you’re ready to clean up your diet or just want to get moving, or maybe your looking for inspiration. Whatever you plan for the New Year, more yoga will move you in the direction of your heart’s desire. Here are 4 ways to include more yoga or shake up your routine for more love, truth and beauty in 2011:
1. Share yoga with your family: whether they’re young or old, fit or more potato-like, you can introduce some deliciously simple and effective yoga moves to help with post-feast digestion. Try these three no-fail moves either before or a couple of hours after your feast and share them with the whole crew:
- Start sitting on your knees (Virasana) or in a chair: feel your sitting bones pressing into the surface beneath you and your heart lifted with the inhalation.
- Child’s pose (balasana): from your knees or in a chair, draw your belly button back towards your spine and reach your arms forward along the floor or in front of your knees, bringing your belly between or towards your thighs.
- Belly Twist (jathara parivartasana): If you’re on the ground, gently roll onto your back and with your belly button engaged towards your spine, lift your knees above your hips and lower your knees to one side of your body. Breathe and allow the breath to animate your pose for 3-5 breaths. On an inhale lift your knees and exhale, repeating on the other side. From a chair, inhale and lift your ribcage up from your pelvis, exhale and gently turn towards one side, resting your arms on the chair. Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale and gently twist.
- Wind Relieving Pose (pavanmuktasana): From the floor, draw your knees up towards your chest and gently hugs your knees. Knees can be wide or together, and you can do one at a time. In a chair, draw one knee at a time towards yourself and hug it in. Remember the name of the pose, and have some humor about noises!
2. Treat yourself to a New Year’s Day class! Most studios have special classes for holidays and you’ll probably have the opportunity for a new teacher, or you could check out a different studio for a change of pace. Yoga of Los Altos is featuring Tom Abrehamson for 9 & 11am classes on New Year’s Day – be sure to check the website and email to reserve your spot. “His classes combine precise instruction with individualized attention and gentle humor.”
3. For a big splash in your life, immerse yourself in yoga classes, workshops and philosophy for as long as a week at the San Francisco Yoga Journal Conference, happening January 13-17 2011. You can study with renowned teachers, attend special events like the evening with Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, or immerse yourself in a daylong intensive.
4. Attend a workshop designed specifically to nourish your intentions and dissolve obstacles, like “Nourish Your Life’s Goals” on Sunday 2 January from 1:30-4:30pm at Yoga of Los Altos. “You will learn the yogic wisdom that connects you to your life’s purpose as you unveil and nourish your life’s goals for a meaningful year ahead,” with Janya Wongsopa.
Include some adventures in yoga in your New Year and get ready for a sparkling New Year!