My New Year Promise!

It’s that time of the year again. Just three more weeks to go and we will be in 2017. Every year, in December, I am forced to ask myself the same question; where did the year go, what did I accomplish this year, what did I learn! We blink, and the year is gone. Hard to believe.

Every year, I resolve to do something, usually something fancy but I only end up breaking my resolves. We all do that, don’t we. ‘Resolutions are meant to be broken;’ this is what I hear when I whine about not sticking to mine. I am yet to meet someone who, at the end of the year, would say that they have stuck to their resolution of the year gone by. Maybe resolutions are meant to be broken, we stick to them for a month or two and then off they go. This got me thinking. Instead of a breakable resolution, I am going to make an unbreakable promise to myself this year.

My promise to myself for the coming year is basic and very generic ‘Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karoon.‘ Plain and simple. It’s a phrase from one of the religious hymns of the Sikhs and it means that ‘I will make up my mind and be a winner, at everything and everytime.’ Be it at work, at school, at home, in life, in the gym. Anywhere and everywhere. You get the drift.

This seemingly puts a lot of pressure on me and could be an energy-drain, but in reality it’s a simple tenet to live by and easy to follow. Do whatever you want to do, but put your heart and soul into it and come out a winner. Do not do anything half-heartedly. Most of us perform better under pressure, and this is pressure of a good kind. I am definitely one of those people who need a sword hanging on their head to get better results and personally I think this is much easier to stick on to rather than a simple and (seemingly easy) task of losing weight ( which tests your will power at an extreme level. )

In today’s struggle of finding a work-life balance, we must excel at everything we do any which way. So in a way, we are used to this difficult promise without even being aware of it. So Happy New Year 2017, all you lovely people and be the best you can in this new year. And don’t forget to spread some love in this wonderful world.

xoxo, the yoga cookie

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A Love Letter to Yoga!

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Dear Yoga,

The relationship I have with you is the only one that deserves a heartfelt love letter. The first time I met you, you made me take a deep breath and stretch up and it felt like I had just pulled my whole life together. Just like that. Of course, you know that I got attracted to you because of the Sun Salutations, but I stayed for the Shavasana– the corpse pose.  I was hooked the moment you said, its ok to lie down on your mat, get into Shavasana and let it all go. Focus on the chirping of the birds and the light at the end of the tunnel, oh yes please!

It was a special day when you showed me the pleasure of one deep breath, and the power in ten. You might not remember it, but I do. Hard to believe it was more than eight years ago. I still remember, only vaguely though, how easy it was for you to convince me to be myself in this photo-shopped world. You said it was ok to live with a broken heart, and I believed you. You said that everyone has it and its not as rare as we all think. You told me to forget about the heartbreak and concentrate on the lessons; and I did and later on I realised that it was some really good advice. You taught me to slow down, see and feel the beauty of stillness, and stop glorifying the ‘busy.’

You changed my outlook on everything, bit by bit. You made my life dance – with the yin of love, the yang of struggle. You made me understand gratitude and acceptance, made me see the people to be grateful for, and also gave me the courage to be vocal about it. You gave me just a little bit of clarity, added to it day after day and here I am, a little more sorted than yesterday, a little happier than yesterday.

Anyone who dedicates their time to you eventually understands that you are more than just a physical exercise and the real yoga practice starts when you step off the mat and into life. You teach us not to be flexible only in the body, but also flexible in the mind. Making us stand on our heads in the headstand is not the goal, getting a fresh perspective is; getting the body in shape is not what you strive for, shaping lives is your aim.

In Tadasana – the mountain pose, you teach us to ground our feet, balance ourselves and raise our consciousness up into the sky as we raise our arms; and be still, be uplifted. Chin up, head held high, look forward and concentrate within, Virbhadrasana – the warrior pose, teaches us that. That challenging and incredibly satisfying stretch in Kapotasana – the pigeon pose is life affirming in a lot of ways and thank you for that.

The power you hold over me is not in this or that, in the easy poses or in the difficult ones. It is in the fact that you bring the polarities of my body together, balancing it and activating it at the same time. I know I am yet to earn the right to call myself a yogini on and off the mat but I am getting there, as you are teaching me how to. Thank you for that. Thank you for everything. Thank you for making my prana flow. I love you.

Xo, the yoga cookie