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Why Doing Yoga Shouldn’t Be Your New Year’s Resolution

Yoga | Yoga for Beginners

As the New Year rapidly approaches, I’m overwhelmed by the buzz of well-intentioned resolution setters. The studio emails, phone calls, studio visits, and person-on-the-street yoga inquiries has almost tripled our normal rate.

The first line is always some version of "This year I'm resolving to do yoga," or "In 2015 I'm going to get into yoga," inevitably followed by "Where do I start?" My answer is always the same: "You start by changing your resolution."

Before you judge this yoga blasphemy, understand that I believe wholeheartedly that everyone needs yoga in their life. However, a resolution to "do yoga" is a recipe for failure. The truth is the resolution of yoga, just like any other resolution, cannot be successful if it is not actionable and relevant to your life.

Making the Most of Your Yoga Resolution

Maybe changing your resolution is a bit harsh sounding. Perhaps the appropriate thing to say is fine-tune your resolution to ensure you reach your desired outcome.

The majority of resolutions that are unsuccessful usually end up this way because they lack a plan of action and are not relevant to your current life situation.This goes for yoga as well as for any other big life-changing resolutions you have planned for 2015.

What does a fine-tuned, actionable, and relevant yoga resolution look like?

The following is a sample list of resolutions I have helped guide clients in crafting and realizing, to ensure they are successful at building yoga into their 2015—whether that is growing the beginnings of a brand new practice, or strengthening an already existing practice.

Note: In this article, access can apply to location, personal schedule, studio schedule, finances, or any other barrier to attending a formal class.

1. Resolutions for the Brand New Yogi Without Access to a Yoga Studio

  1. In the first week of January, I will contact my local yoga studio for recommendations on yoga videos and online resources I can use at home to begin my yoga practice.
  2. In the month of January, I will sample three different virtual yoga instructors and/or yoga styles to ensure I am working towards finding the right fit for my yoga practice.

2. Resolutions for the Brand New Yogi With Access to a Studio

  1. I will attend three different styles of yoga classes in the month of January to decide what and where my body feels is a good starting point for my yoga practice.
  2. Once I have determined the class and/or instructor that best meets my yoga needs, I will attend two classes a week for the month of February.

3. Resolutions for a Yogi Who Currently Frequents a Studio

  1. Each month of 2015, I will attend at least one class In a different style yoga than I normally attend.
  2. This year, I will commit to two private lessons with my favorite studio instructor to help fine-tune my alignment and strengthen my current practice.

These resolution modifications are in no way intended to be the end all be all of yoga resolutions, mind you. Just as every yogi's practice is their own, every resolution must be unique to them as well.

There is no hard and fast resolution that should ever mandate the amount of hours or number of days that you will force yourself into practice, for that is not the yogi way.

This guide is designed to serve as a simple reminder that the more relevant and actionable your resolution, the more likely you will be to make forward progress and continue to grow far outside the walls of the initial intentions of your resolutions. Happy New Year!

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