So as 2015 is rolling to a close social media is becoming flooded with people reviewing their year; the goals they met, the goals they didn’t quite get round to meeting, their highs and lows, their ‘most liked of 2015!’ picture and ultimately what they are going to carry through to 2016 with them. So here I am jumping on that bandwagon!
I love the idea of goal setting and am kicking myself that I didn’t make any when I started my yoga journey exactly 1 year ago to the day! There were so many things that I achieved in this past year, but not once did I stop to acknowledge the fact that I had reached a mile stone. I currently beat myself up for not being able to hold free-standing handstands for very long, but where was my pat on the back from myself for even getting upside down against a wall when at one point that was entirely impossible for me? I specifically remember spending 2 hours one morning in front of the wall of my old flat, kicking with all my might, trying to get upside down (too much time on my hands you say?) And I never made it. I gave up on handstanding for so long after that telling myself I just wasn’t cut out for it. But fast forward to today and I find myself feeling frustrated for only being able to hold my ‘lady-legs’ handstand for 5 seconds in the centre of the room… It’s perspective that you lose when you fail to set goals.
So with this in mind, my only New Years Resolution this year is not to make the same mistakes as I did last year. And first and foremost for me this means goal setting. The list of things I can improve on is infinite, no one is perfect and I’m pretty ambitious, but I’ve tried to prioritise my goals to things that will be achievable this year if I am consistent, persistent and determined. All of which I fully intend to be. So without further ado:
- Become a yoga teacher
April marks the start of my journey to train as a Yoga Teacher. I don’t mean for this to be a ‘cheat’ goal, because as long as I complete the course, the goal is achieved. My real goal is to really put my heart and soul into it. To give it every ounce of thought and effort I can in order to get as much from the experience as possible. The decision to sign up for this was not an easy one in itself, and it took a huge leap of faith to even apply for the course. But now that I have been accepted, I want to prove to myself that this was the best decision I have ever made. I want to prove to the little doubts in my mind that they are wrong; that I am capable, I am good enough, and I will make a good teacher. I’ve already made a start on the books on the reading list. And watch this space come July when I’m let lose on society to spread ALL the yoga love ♥
Here’s the first picture I took when an IG yoga challenge required us to do the splits:
And this was 2 weeks ago:
Now granted, maybe not the best comparison as the top one isn’t actually a splits attempt. But that was my best at the time, both physically and mentally. I was all ‘Well I might as well just show a hamstring stretch as there’s no way I’ll get anywhere near the splits’. I didn’t even TRY. And even though I’m still not quite there physically, telling myself that I could achieve this was my biggest leap forward, and it will be the leap that eventually closes these last few inches…
3. Handstand reliably
I’m not trying to fool anyone with my handstand abilities – I’m pretty terrible. The pictures I post on IG are usually caught on my 30th attempt and are a snapshot of a moment where I held still. I cannot handstand on demand and god forbid should anyone watch me because I most certainly cannot perform! I’m setting this goal in an attempt to remind myself to work from the ground up. Build the foundations; practice some drills once in a while and strengthen the muscles, and here’s to hoping that by next Christmas I’ll be able to find that balance without pouring with sweat from my preceding 6,000 failed attempts.
To give this goal a bit more specificity, I’d like to be able to incorporate handstands into my practice flows. To be able to enter and exit gracefully and reliably and not have to take 5 minutes to recover afterwards due to the fact I forget to breathe…
4. Meditate at least 3 days per week
As I’ve previously mentioned, meditation is not something that comes easily to me, but I like the idea of calming the mind, controlling your thoughts and being better in control of your reactions and emotions because of it. I’m trying to be realistic, I tried doing it daily and quickly fell off the bandwagon and its now been WEEKS since I tried it last. So I’d like to aim to add mediation to my practice on at least 3 occasions in a week to see where it leads me.
5. Try and let go of that pesky ego of mine
Ironically to goals numbers 2 and 3, I want to try and detach my practice from the ego driven race it too often becomes. There’s a sketchy grey area between setting goals of personal achievement and just wanting to feed the ego and reach the finish line. I am guilty of an ego driven practice, I work on specific asanas in order to be better at them but that’s not what yoga is meant to be about and certainly not why I got into it. I feel that IG is both a blessing and a curse. I owe my entire practice to it, it introduced me to yoga and it has connected me with what are probably the nicest people on this earth, but it also has a tendency to make me feel incapable. There is so much talent rolling around on there that its easy to start thinking ‘well why can’t I do that?’, ‘I wanna be able to do what she can do’, and before you know it you’re no longer trying to better yourself, you’re trying to compete. So in 2016, one of my goals is to become more content with where I’m at. It’s not really something I can measure or test, but its a goal none-the-less. I want to be more accepting of my practice no matter what physical state that happens to be. To realise that you are not ‘better’ at yoga than someone is the starting line for me. There is no such thing as being good at yoga. You may be strong, you may be flexible, you may be both or neither! Yoga is about being present in the moment, moving your body in a way that serves you best at that given time and whatever form that takes, it is enough.
So I hope you all have a wonderful start to the new year! I hope I may have inspired you to make some goals of your own, whether they be yoga related or not! And as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.