New Year, New Life 12-Day Retreat

Learn More

Ornish Living: Feel better, love better

Sections

Get StartedOr call 1-877-888-3091

Love Your Life.

Start Feeling Better Now

Subscribe Now

It’s the time of year when we start to look back on our lives and the way they have taken shape over the last year. It’s from this place of retrospection that we emerge with insights for the coming year. We begin to anticipate what we want to create and manifest going forward.

For the New Year, why not practice letting go and clearing a space within to plant some new seeds?

All too often we have good intentions, and an excellent idea of what we want for ourselves, but holding onto that resolve and bringing it into action may be a whole other story. I spent years writing down New Years resolutions only to find that three weeks later they were just a fleeting memory that had no weight or shape. I started thinking about how I could create change and shape my life in a meaningful way. I began to realize that the key was in my yoga practice. Yoga provides a new way to boost our resolve so we can sharpen and activate those resolutions throughout the year.

Rather than trying to add a list of resolutions to our already cluttered minds, why not practice letting go and clearing a space within to plant some new seeds? Then we can tend those seeds with our self- awareness. Our daily yoga practice prepares the soil for us to grow our resolutions and manifest deep and lasting changes in our lives. With our practice of postures and breathing we are tending that soil. We create a flow of energy that allows us to let go of the old and release the build-up of toxins and tensions making room inside of ourselves for something new to arise. We take a pose and then find the place where our comfort meets our discomfort. At that place we let go of anything that isn’t necessary so we can settle deeper into our comfortable edge. Now we direct the breath into those edges creating openness inside of ourselves. As we complete this external phase of cleansing and preparing, we move to a deeper practice of letting go in our relaxation practice.

When we watch our thoughts without analyzing, judging or ruminating, they begin to dissipate

Related Video play

It’s at the end of this deep relaxation that we can begin to work with imagery. Imagery is the practice of planting those seeds of intention. We gather up our highest intention for ourselves. Something we want to give energy to in our lives. We hold our attention to what we want to grow. Perhaps we have been struggling with our own health choices. This would be an opportunity to plant the seed of “making healthy choices.” Hold that intention in your heart and repeat it to yourself several times. Then begin to imagine that it is already so. Imagine it is already part of you and your way of being. Let it echo in the spaces of your heart and mind. As it resonates, imagine yourself in complete alignment with your intention to make healthy choices (or whatever your intention may be). Hold that feeling in your heart for several breaths.

Another place to allow this intention to expand and take shape is after the practice of

Related Video play

Meditation provides clarity and insight. When we watch our thoughts without analyzing, judging or ruminating, they begin to dissipate. In time they loose their hold over us. We become sharper and clearer. Our vision intensifies. It’s with this sense of clarity that we can once again return to our intention. We can repeat it with each flowing breath. We can return to it over and over again like a mantra or a prayer. Holding your intention for a few minutes daily at the end of relaxation and/ or meditation practice will allow it to take shape in your life. Start to notice over the days, weeks and even months as your intention begins to make its way into action. In this way our resolutions begin to shape our world and we can see clearly the effect we have on our own experiences.

What are your strategies for following through with your resolutions this year?

Contributed by

Susi Amendola
Stress Management Specialist

What have you done to remind yourself of the things that have meaning for you?

Better Health Begins With You...

Comment 4

Launch Your New Year

Join Dr. Dean Ornish for a transformative, all-inclusive retreat.

Learn More