New Year and an Even Better Me

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019!

As the clock strikes midnight, new year resolutions begin coming into play. Resolutions that we usually think of just moments before the hands strike twelve. Typically, we tend to set a resolution around health, to drop a pant size or two, to place a restriction towards sugary goodness.

People marching their way to their nearest gym, lining up to enroll in a membership (figuratively speaking) to kick start the motto of “new year, new me.”

Gyms are bustling and personal trainers are hustling to provide realistic expectations for their clients, but often the word “realistic” gets lost as we live in a society where we are programmed for instant gratification. We expect results, and yes, results do come with time, but we expect instant results.

What many tend to lose sight of is that even with the motivation and dedication to lose the holiday pudge, time mustn’t be forgotten. Time is such an important factor when it comes to these types of resolutions, time allows our bodies to adjust to the tweaks and changes we are making to better ourselves.

I began practicing yoga in November of 2016 for the purpose of healing my mind and learning to love myself as a whole. I was in my mid-twenties living an unhealthy lifestyle with poor posture, acute upper back pain, and achy feet. I was as stiff as a board unable to even touch my toes in a seated forward fold. At the start of my yoga journey, I was having difficulties dedicating time towards my practice, but not because I didn’t want to, my (already low) energy was just spent. Working around 60 hour weeks, on my feet from morning to night, I wanted nothing more than to stay snuggled under my covers and spend my days off recuperating. That was my life for about a year or so.

By June of 2017, I escaped the horrid 60 hour work weeks and stepped into the world of the 9:00 to 5:00 job. I was slowly beginning to find the time I needed to progress my practice, and surely with motivation and dedication, I did. But although my practice was advancing, I wasn’t satisfied with my growth, I wasn’t satisfied with myself.

A day or so before we rung into 2018, a tragic event occurred (the passing of my eldest uncle) that instilled a drive within me that I never knew existed. His untimely death sparked something inside me, a realization, that drove me to dedicate more time towards my practice while changing the relationship that I had with food, to lessen while cutting out the junk that I was engulfing mindlessly. For almost half a year, I practiced yoga about ten times a week, sometimes back to back classes or morning and afternoon classes. But through my dedication, I met and encountered so many beautiful souls who not only guided me through my practice but also challenged me to strengthen myself as a practitioner, mentally and physically.

As I sprung into 2019, I did drop between two to three pants sizes, but that wasn’t my resolution for 2018. I didn’t have one and I still don’t have one, I set goals. When we make resolutions, we tend to give ourselves till the end of the year, a limitation, but when we make goals, a definitive time isn’t set. Our time frame for achieving these goals can be adjusted, life happens and it’s completely normal.

January of 2019 is now coming to a close, and for those who are dedicating themselves to shed a few inches or centimeters, you may not be seeing those changes instantly or as rapidly as you would like, but remember to give yourself time. Give yourself realistic expectations, don’t beat yourself when you don’t see the results you’re seeking. Don’t expect to magically go into vakra hanumasana (crooked monkey as pictured) or instantly leg press 270 pounds. Let yourself go with the flow, listen to what your body says, and you’ll be checking off those goals in no time.