I choose to support myself and others with loving kindness

Greetings my friends and Happy 2019 to you!

I find the New Year a truly inspiring time. I love listening to others share their goals, intentions and inspirations. Within our yoga practice lies a sankalpa practice, or an intention formed by the heart and mind. When the heart and mind are connected, we are able to better connect with our highest, most true and authentic self. In keeping with my love for living spiritually, I share my intentions with you for the New Year, and ultimately for the rest of my life, as they are all long-term sustainable practices I’d like to practice continuously.

1. Minimalism
2. Hatha Yoga
3. Mindful Eating
4. Intuitive Eating
5. Essential Oils

1. Minimalism:
Currently, Jason and I are living in a beautiful condo building and community that we love. Our neighborhood and condo have so many lovely perks (beautiful park nearby, no shoveling snow (yay!), fewer responsibilities that come with being a homeowner…to name a few). However, one of the major drawbacks that often comes with condo living is less space. Our home has been feeling a lot more crammed and cluttered lately, especially since we got married last fall. Hello, kitchen goodies! The few days before the New Year, I spent time de-cluttering our home, re-organizing and donating. This is not new for me, and I do this practice about 4 times per year. However, I’ve noticed that the trips to Goodwill are not really helping downsize enough! As a result, I am going to make a conscious effort to simply “consume less”.

2. Hatha Yoga:
I love yoga! And I think doing more of what you love is always a good thing. Lately, I have been slowing down my yoga practice a lot, holding my poses longer and sitting in meditation longer. I have connected a lot with the teaching style of Yoga with Adriene (she is a phenomenal yoga YouTube teacher!) and I will continue her practices. I am also beginning a new style of yoga under one of my teachers at Kula Yoga (Kim T.) called Avita. Avita Yoga is a method that gently identifies restrictions impeding the body’s natural potential for movement. One of my goals is to feel more free in my body and alleviate chronic areas of tightness (QL muscles, psoas, trapezoids, etc.) and I know that moving more slowly and with my breath is the answer.

3. Mindful Eating:
Nothing ground breaking here, y’all! I just want to make a conscious effort not to eat in front of my computer, and more commonly, my iPhone. I truly want to sit and savor my meals in peace. I love to nourish my body with simple homemade vegetarian meals (although I am not a vegetarian) and I simply want to savor them! 🙂

4. Intuitive Eating:
I really view intuitive eating as an exploratory, ongoing practice where I get to know my body better and love my body more through connecting with my emotional state. I want to listen to what meals serve my energy levels, digestive system and just leave me feeling fantastic. I truly believe cooking with love (and not cooking in a rush/with anxiety) is one way to improve my overall health. I also know that reducing portion sizes and eating more cooked vegetables, soups and whole grains leave me feeling energized and happy. Drinking more water and fresh teas leave me feeling clear headed and in control, versus feeling like a slave to caffeine addiction! I am trying to focus more on what I’d like to incorporate more of, and less on what I’d like to eliminate, even though I know it’s sugar, dairy, alcohol and caffeine 🙂 I believe that bringing more energy to what you want to incorporate is more valuable than focusing on what to eliminate.

Another element to intuitive eating that I’d like to work on is not eating out of guilt. Oftentimes I will eat to keep others company while they eat (even though I’m not hungry) or eat at places where I don’t want to eat because I feel too guilty speaking my mind and saying I’d prefer to eat at a healthier restaurant. This year, I want to work on eating when and where I feel nourished eating. Other people make their preferences known when it comes to food, and I want to try to do the same.

5. Essential Oils:
This is another really fun one! My mother-in-law LOVES Young Living Essential Oils and gifted me Basil, Fennel, Digize, and Thieves this year for Christmas. I recently purchased a diffuser to incorporate these oils into my home during the day. I love the practice of mixing them with a carrier oil at night and massaging into my body as well. If you’ve been to any of my yoga classes, you know I am BIG on offering time for a self massage with essential oils. I think it is such a loving practice. My intent is to keep incorporating essential oils into my regular routine and travel routine.

My mom gifted me a lovely less-aromatic set of roll-on organic essential oils for Christmas. It is a huge set that has different blends for focus, de-stressing, sleep, immunity and more. I plan to bring a few of these with me when I travel for work as the scents are less potent and easy to use on planes. I recently had the woman next to me on my last flight look so interested in how I was using essential oils and she loved trying mine! I also keep the de-stress and sleep blends on my nightstand to use when I read and relax before bed.

The practice of setting a sankalpa is often accompanied by a short phrase that keeps you present of your intentions. I will be choosing a variety of loving affirmations (e.g. I choose to support myself and others with loving kindness, I am capable and strong, etc.) 

I would love to hear what your sankalpa is for this New Year! Feel free to share with me in the comments section.

Light and love,