yoga and the new year – what’s your intention?

Many, or perhaps most of, us celebrate New Year’s Eve and say goodbye to the year we are leaving and welcome in the New Year.    Some of us love it, whilst others hate it.  On one level, it is but the passing of one day for another, as night inevitably follows day.    These frosted teezels are last year’s growth, but are frozen for our delight in the cold sun on the beautiful, but freezing third day of this New Year.

We may approach New Year with mixed feelings, perhaps glad to see the end of a year tinged by sadness or regret, or apprehensive at the start of a new year beginning, concerned at what it will bring.   We all have challenges to face in life and, depending on your point of view – whether you’re a “glass half full” or “half empty” type of person – you’ll have a different approach.  Even then, we’re all different, all individual, all special, so none of us really view the world and life in the same way.

I’m looking forward to 2017 and excited at the prospect of what it will bring into my life.  I’m not sitting back and waiting for life to come to my door, but working in my own way to make the things that I’d like to do happen, which is exciting.   But I’m also aware that I can’t control how things will unfold and, to some extent or another, I have to accept with equanimity what comes my way. I’m open to new possibilities and aware that, when I’m at my most effective, I’m calm and flexible.

And, to do that, I need some help, which is where my yoga comes in.  It helps me on all levels, physically, mentally and emotionally.  It’s also helped me understand myself better and, when I stop and listen to how I’m really feeling, I realise that I do have within me what I need.   That’s why yoga practice is called practice.  It’s because we need to keep practising. Nothing is perfect and striving for perfection only leads to endless frustration.

At New Year, we also often make resolutions that we probably mainly fail to keep.  Possibly because we set ourselves unrealistic goals.  So perhaps this New Year, you might like to set a yogic intention or Sankalpa.  Focus your mind and connect to your most heartfelt desires.  An intention is stated as a positive; an expression of what we already have within us, but may fail to recognise.  It also helps us as it recognises the nobility of effort we are making.


Whilst a Sankalpa can be set at any time, New Year is an excellent time.  So, let go of the past and set a positive intention.  Whatever you want.   It may be to be kinder to yourself or to others, to be strong, to be patient, to be focused….   Whatever you feel is right for you..

If we open our hearts and listen to our intuition, we can all find that positive intention within us.  And, if we open our hearts to new possibilities, focus our minds, listen to our bodies, we can allow ourselves to be who we truly are.

I wish you peace, happiness and good health this year. 

© Sarah Swan (January 2017)

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