January is a time of new beginnings. It is the month we make our resolutions, when we try new things, and when we reflect on and evaluate the year past.
January is like a breath of fresh air. A month to recuperate from the year before and start making our tentative steps into the year ahead. Will the year ahead be better or at least just as good as the year just past? No one knows but at least we can start off on the right foot with some new beginnings yoga.
As George Harrison once famously sang……ring out the old ring in the new……. we can do this so nicely with our yoga practices.
Twists are very helpful in creating some space in our bodies for new beginnings. The muscles of our torso get a great cleansing squeeze and stretch, while the internal organs are getting a little nudge to keep them on their toes. Even the lungs are finding places that have lain dormant for many a shallow breathing day.
However for a set of poses that signify new beginnings back arches head the list. Opening up the chest , filling the lungs with fresh oxygen, strengthening our back – these poses epitomise the courage and energy needed to take the very best step we can into the new year.
Of course a new beginnings sequence would never be complete without an inversion which turns everything upside and gives us a whole new perspective, a new angle of vision.
Here’s a nice ring out the old ring in the new sequence:
1. Start in Child Pose to quiet the chatter of the mind and focus on the breath.
2. Move into Dolphin Pose and do your inversion. Breathe and feel into your body. How does it feel now you are upside down?
3. Loosen up your spine with repetitions of Cat/Cow Pose and then move one step forward into the new year into Crescent Moon Pose. Lift the arms and gently arch back, feel brave and ready to face the year ahead.
4. Now raise your back knee, hands in prayer at the chest, lean forward with a straight back and twist into Revolved Side Angle Pose.
5. Repeat on the other leg and finish in Child Pose feeling released, enlivened and ready.
Happy New Year everyone!
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training