21 Considerations for Moving into 2021:
For the Mind
- Consider how Health is Wealth*
- Allow for quiet-time and reflection
- Develop something that requires daily discipline
- Track your hourly/weekly time and energy output
- Add 3 – 30 second breathing breaks to your day
- Stop, Sigh, Smile before responding when agitated
- Let Monday always be a new beginning
For the Body*
- Take breaks to get up and walk/move around
- Pay more attention to what/when/how you’re eating
- Notice when you become full or sit too long
- Learn which foods help you, which ones hurt you
- Do a test for your gut health or nutrition counseling
- Develop a doable & daily movement practice
- Set a regular wind down, sleep time and wake time
For the Spirit
- Practice random acts of kindness
- Seek ways to educate and uplift the heart.*
- Clarify what’s important, what do you value?
- Find a creative outlet and set time aside for it
- Take daily breaks from electronics and news
- Notice areas of overflow and underflow
- Build your support systems, gently release all else
Whether we are fully aware of this or not, we already are a unified being of mind, body and spirit. For the most part, we stay intact this way while we are still alive and breathing. That’s the good news. Anything we do on one level informs the other. We can certainly work hard to compartmentalize and focus a greater amount of our attention on our mind, our body or the spirit. Or we can have such a deep meditation that the body no longer feels joined. But sooner or later, there is a call to recognize the union experienced within the clearing and sorting out of this life’s work while in this body. And if we become exhausted trying to see the beauty within each and every being and the significance and important journey of death, then the work of many marketing teams and our largely capitalist society is working! Ok, that’s the bad news. But really, it’s not bad news, it just might not be the view you have.
What I’ve come to understand this to be, is that this is simply our ignorance at work (or at play?) and something that we might have made a more intimate encounter with in 2020 than previous years. Can we accept that we will never know everything but together we can discover all that is possible in our lifetime? We are limited in our ability to shine truth freely and with full brilliance throughout the world because truth isn’t able to be agreed upon by everyone. I love the ideal that Integral Yoga promotes: Truth is One, Paths are Many. Somehow, that keeps the light on for the dark spaces that have and will forever be a part of this world of duality. We live by the light and the dark.
Rather than a heavy load to carry into the new year, maybe a feeling of lightness and optimism can carry our dreams and aspirations. Starting where we are versus imagining someone or something we’re not yet. This more compassionate approach could be good medicine for ourself as we digest and eliminate 2020 and make clean space for 2021. It feels important to learn what we can from 2020 and to have faith in what may come from the composting of it. I mean, it’s behind us now so might as well imagine that something good can come from it! We’re still seeing so much develop but it’s nice to hear emphasis on diversity in the Biden Cabinet pics. It’s reassuring to hear the support from Dolly Parton and Bill Gates that has helped move the vaccines into existence. And it’s heart-warming to hear some of the 100 Good News Stories from Around the World that we might have missed hearing about.
Too often, we compare and despair. Not often enough do we allow ourselves time and space to recognize our unique contributions to our family, friends and the world. Or too often these outside sources haven’t known how to make space for us and it’s easier to keep within a certain boundary of limiting societal agreements. Let us take a deep breath and trust there is a process to all of this and for some reason it can be harder to come together and easier to tear things apart.
Mondaycampaigns.org has a fun way to inspire and focus our energy – 6 different campaigns that we can jump on board with if feeling inspired if not for ourself than for someone in our life to whom we can be a good role model. Of course my favorite from the list is Meatless Monday! Think of this as a creative day to give your body a rest from some of the heavier dairy and meat-based foods and choose a day of plant-based meals to get everything moving smoother and happier on the inside. And likely, the outside mood will reflect what’s going on inside…I mean it most definitely will. Again, this is a good move for the mind, body and spirit all at once.
And if you’d like to get inspired by a 21-day challenge of yoga – here it is: The Integral Yoga 21-day Yoga Challenge! 5 great teachers will be teaching over the next 3 weeks every morning from 7:30-8:30am. Everyone is welcome and each teacher will guide you into a thoughtful hatha practice that covers all the bases of mind, body and spirit. Most often the hurtles are making time and lacking confidence in being successful. All new things come with a challenge, but if you put your mind to it for a certain period, then the part of the brain that struggles to start gets stepped over and away you go. This group of teachers is the most compassionate, loving group and you’ll be in good zoom hands every day. This started on Sunday, but you’re welcome to jump in as soon as you can. $75 covers the whole challenge. Read more and sign up through IntegralYogaSF.org.
And if you practice yoga at least twice a week in 2021, that would be almost 108 times you’ve made it to your mat! That’s a good way to set a nice vibrational goal by using the magical number 108. Read from the Himalayan Institute why 108 is so significant.
May this new year be a bright light that reminds us that the painful and tough moments have been our teachers. May we learn what we can from 2020 and not forget all who helped make it through from the frontline workers, essential workers as well as parents, teachers and beyond. May we all feel inspired to maintain good health both mentally and physically. May we all find ways to help others who could use our support. Wishing you a healthy and life-changing 2021!
Let’s stay connected,
Owner and Director
Mukunda Yoga Center, SOMA SF, CA