In case you were looking for permission, here it is: Go slow and be steady. Have patience.
Moving into the month of January, we are often rejuvenated by the thoughts of starting anew. You’ve heard it before: “new year, new you”. And having been in this industry for many years, we can tell you that January is our busiest time of year. People flock to studios, gyms and wellness centres with determination to change. Whether it’s starting new routines or leaving old habits behind,many take on January like a cannon ball. Unfortunately this often leads to a quick crash and burn by about January 15th.
If we forget to set up a foundation for change, and the mindset to move forward, SLOWLY, we can’t be successful in change. Change takes time….. sometimes a lifetime. In yogic philosophy it’s called “sthira sukham asanam” translating to steadiness and ease within asana (living). When we have a goal based resolution, we can sometimes forget to notice the journey along the way. We can get impatient when we don’t see or feel results immediately and sometimes feel a sense of failure and disappointment.
Think of children: when we see a child we haven’t seen in months, we notice a big change in them. Children can teach us so much about human nature. Sometimes we overlook the fact that change doesn’t happen overnight, but is almost an undetectable daily growth. Our own personal transformations are no exception. If you think you’re going to lose 5lbs after one yoga class, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Change takes time. Have patience, and try to enjoy each moment of your journey, regardless of the goal.
When we want to change something or create new habits persistence and patience are key to success, steadiness and ease. We don’t have to push through like a bull in a china shop, we can move and evolve slowly like a caterpillar transforming to a butterfly. We are all perfect just as we are; growth is not a race and there is no finish line.
Ways to go slow and be steady this month:
- Keep a journal, write down how you feel each morning when you wake up, and when you go to bed. Notice the small shifts.
- Get in touch with your breath. Even just for two minutes, stop and breathe and watch the world slow down. This is also a good way to pause, and respond rather than going back to reactive habits.
- When you have a set back, rather than negative self talk, can you ask yourself, ‘what can I learn here?’
- Remember, each minute is an opportunity to start fresh, not just each year.
- Watch a plant grow and change. Nature blooms once a year, why should humans always be expected to be in constant bloom?
- Take a few things off your to-do list without guilt. Create more time to just be.
- Practice yoga to enjoy your body, not to change it.
Co-authored by Prestonne & Nicole