“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!” -The Sound of Music
On the other side of the year ending is the new year beginning, and it is the time of the oh-so-famous NEW YEAR RESOLUTION! It’s a great time for a fresh start because our will power is strong and through resolution, we are laying the groundwork for a very promising year ahead. But what usually happens come February? Our resolutions are long forgotten with the rest of them.
In the practice of Hatha Yoga, the first thing that is done in a pose is to set the foundation. The foundation is a strong, stable connection to the ground that allows the rest of the body to rise up with more ease. It is with a strong foundation that the body is able to go up into handstand, warrior II, or wheel. It is from an unwavering foundation that a stable core develops. Developing these new habitual patterns in the body can be challenging and as soon as things become difficult, it is usually the foundation that is first to go.
Resolutions are generally made because you want to better yourself, be healthier, happier, it’s rare that resolutions are self deprecating. So now as you set your goals how do you stay committed? Set goals that you can achieve. Start small and begin to integrate your resolutions into your daily routine. If you decide you will work out 2 hours, 5 days per week that is going to be harder to maintain than if you decide to work out for 1 hour, 3 times per week. By setting goals you are able to achieve it will be easier to maintain when life gets in the way.
Now is the time to be resolute, determined, unwavering. How do you place your hands on your mat? How do you walk out the door into your day? Strength in the beginning will create new habitual patterns in your body, mind and heart. So when the path gets bumpy you will be able to maintain those commitments for your self. Do something now your future self will thank you for.
Hi Lindsay, Thanks for writing this. It is very helpful to remember foundations and how they can return one to the beginnings, as they are physical seeds that grow into greater things, and they are also seeds that grow out of simpler (more fundamental) core themes.
In another way, the foundations also return one to core stories one tells about oneself, and many of these stories or scripts have been unhelpful throughout one’s life. To return to an “origin story” of the self that has not helped and then to be able to understand it in a more compassionate way, then, gives one a chance to be free from a story of the self that got in the way before. Truly being able to act with real people in daily life but without one’s old scripts, without prejudging, without fetters, becomes more natural, spontaneous, free.
Thanks Jeff for sharing. This is really beautiful and insightful.