Happy New Year!
I hope you enjoyed your holiday as much as I did.
If you’re feeling like it’s been a bit tough trying to get back into a routine, you’re not alone.
There is a part of the yoga sutras that describes how the practice of yoga requires consistency over a long period of time. Vacations and holidays can throw a wrench in the whole consistency part. Luckily we get to decide if we’re going to continue to practice day-in and day-out.
Now that we’re in the New Year you may have set goals or intentions. Perhaps there are habits you’re looking to build or break. Maybe you’re feeling optimistic about a part of your life you’ve been hoping to improve.
If you haven’t already, definitely take some time to think about and write down what it is you’re looking forward to or want to look forward to in 2016.
The evolution of our practice
Last year, I talked all about creating habits in January and while I think it’s still important and foundational work, 2016 is a new year and time for a new experiment.
For me, I’m practicing being more then doing.
I can think of no better way to embody wisdom then to practice yoga.
And I can think of no better time to remind you that there is so much more to yoga then the physical posture.
While I didn’t practice asana over my holiday break, I was presented with so many opportunities to be present with the lessons that family and travel can bring.
I got to practice compassion when some of our family was sick over the holiday.
I got to practice gratitude, patience, awe, and spontaneity when we traveled to Montreal and discovered this beautiful city up North.
I took a break from teaching and from practicing asana and it felt so good to come back to both when I got home.
On New Year’s Day, I practiced connection.
These past few days I’ve gotten to practice humility as I’ve come down with another nasty cold.
Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, there is always an opportunity to practice yoga. No poses required.
My 2016 challenge I want you to be a part of
I say all of this as a reminder and also as a preface to a new personal project I’m undertaking that I’d like you to be a part of.
One thing I want to work on more this year is connection. I’ll be completely honest – it’s a big weak spot for me.
As some of you may know, I’ve been a marketer in my past professional life (I talk about this like it was more then 1-2 years ago…), and part of being a marketer these days is strategizing and scheming away on social media. One of the main reasons I grew to dislike marketing so much was because I really did/do not enjoy social media.
This all makes sense considering connection is a weak spot. Social media is at its very essence a tool to help us connect with others, just like meditation or breathing or asana is a tool to help us connect with ourselves.
Turns out, I’ve evolved in my connection with self over the last couple years but lagged behind in my connection with others.
Since I quit marketing, I effectively quit social media as well, and it was glorious at the same time that it nagged me at the back of my mind.
I’ve never liked Instagram despite it’s extreme popularity in the yoga space because 1) I don’t particularly enjoy or feel like I’m good at taking pictures and 2) I don’t believe that the yoga community is served by seeing pictures of half-clothed women performing (oftentimes) poor yoga postures that are dangerous and impractical for most people.
But just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a useful purpose. (Truth bomb! I’m trying to be better at Twitter too.)
That is why I’m challenging myself to post a picture a day on Instagram with the hashtag #thisismyyoga.
I want to share with you how I’m practicing yoga, and most of the time you won’t see me in physical posture. So far this week, if you check out my Insta feed at yoginiashleyjosephine, you’ll find a picture of my bed and a picture of my altar and a picture of me on our inversion table. My practice this week has been about organizing, devotion, sleeping, and healing to get rid of this darn cold!
The wisdom and philosophy of the yoga tradition is so rich and full of tools and tricks and how-tos that physical asana practice really doesn’t come close to doing it justice. It’s easy to get caught up in one thing and lose sight of the bigger picture.
That’s why I’m hoping through my own personal journey in discovering the joys of Instagram that I can also remind you of the bigger picture and inspire you to think more broadly about if/how/why/when you practice yoga.
I can’t wait to see what your yoga looks like!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep tabs on my practice and please use the hashtag to show me what your yoga looks like!
Look for a new video practice next week and stay tuned for SO MUCH AWESOMENESS coming up 🙂