Our popular contributor Kara-Leah is a big believer in daily yoga practice – and with the end of the year almost upon is, it’s the perfect time to consider making the ultimate New Year’s Resolution.
by Kara-Leah Grant
It’s almost that time of year again when we list out all the things we want to do to make our lives better. This year, instead of making a big long list of all the things you want to change or do differently, here’s a suggestion.
Just make one resolution – to do more yoga.
One resolution is all you need, because doing more yoga has a flow on effect into every other aspect of your life.
When you regularly practice yoga- whether it’s bhakti yoga, karma yoga, hatha yoga, jnana yoga, raja yoga, mantra yoga, tantra yoga, laya yoga, or any combination of the eight main types of yoga – your life automatically aligns itself from the inside out with what is best for you.
Day by day, yoga teaches us how to be present in each moment. It teaches us how to be conscious of who we truly are, and how we typically react to the situations in our lives. Just knowing this gives us the power to make different choices, and respond differently, and so create different, more authentic and loving lives.
Practicing yoga makes us more sensitive to life, and we are no longer able to live in denial of what is true for us – we begin to face up to ourselves and our lives.
So no matter what it is that you want to transform in your and in your life, you can do it with yoga.
Yoga will help you to:
- Eat better
- Move more
- Open up to other people and experience more love in your life
- Connect with your heart’s desire
- Sharpen your senses
- Improve your health
- Increase mental acuity
- Discover more joy in the small moments of life
- Reverse or slow the aging process
- And most of all – love life for the great gift that it is
Because in the end, no matter what it is we resolve to do, we are all attempting to attain the same thing – more love.
Love for ourselves.
Love for others.
Love for our world.
Love for our life.
Even our desire to attain material wealth is because we want to love what we experience, and we mistakenly believe that the key to loving what we experience is to control that which we experience.
We forget that it is not what is outside of us that we control, but what is inside of us. We can choose more love in every single moment simply by opening up to the bottomless well that lies within us. No extra material gain required.
It is an achingly simple truth – we are the Source of Love.
Yet knowing this intellectually and being able to experience it are two very different things. Wanting to get there doesn’t help at all. If anything, it is the wanting that creates a wall between us and the Source of Love. It is paradoxically in the releasing of all wants, in the releasing of attachment to all desires that we melt those borders and boundaries and connect with All that Is, finding a Source of Unending Love.
And in those small moments of surrendering, of opening, of giving to another we experience Love .
But reading this isn’t going to help you experience this. What will help you experience this sense of dropping into life, of opening up to a deep well of love, is yoga. Yoga every single day.
So this year, make just one New Year’s resolution.
Do more yoga.
Every single day.
Right now even.
Stop, and breathe mindfully for the next five minutes, simply watching your breath.
Because why not?
What stops you?
(That’s always the big question right – why we don’t practice every day when we know we love it and we know it’s awesome for us… And that’s what I address in Forty Days of Yoga. Getting to the root of those subconscious reasons that stop us turning up to our mat every day. More on that soon.)
Kara-Leah is a writer and yoga teacher who has always been infinitely curious about the make-up of the human psyche and body. Regular yoga helped her heal and recover from chronic back issues, including a spinal fusion at age 16, and two episodes of psychosis at age 29.
Her daily home yoga practice began in earnest when people kept asking her to teach them yoga. She’s since trained as a teacher with Shiva Rea, and immersed herself in practicing, teaching yoga and writing about yoga. Kara-Leah lives just outside of Queenstown, New Zealand with her son Samuel.
She’s the publisher of The Yoga Lunchbox and has just published her first book, Forty Days of Yoga – Breaking down the barriers to a home yoga practice. She’s also a regular contributor to the Elephant Journal.