Meditation

New Year, New You….or So the Saying Goes

My {insert year} Resolutions:

New England Water Path 2011

At the end (and beginning) of every year, many people take the time to think about their goals they wish to accomplish in the upcoming future. We think about our traits, or habits, we wish to change, from the past. In Yoga, the habits we create and reinforce are referred to as samskaras, which is a Sanskrit term for these repetitive patterns and thoughts. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes samskara as “mental impression stored in the subtle body and existing as an archetype in the brain.” (Muktibodhananda, pg. 701).

 Here’s a good visual representation of samskaras: Imagine you have a river that flows within the confines of its riverbank. One day, someone throws a pebble into the river, hoping for change in the course of the water. There is no change in the water pathway. Over time, more pebbles, stones, and even boulders, get placed in the same spot as that original pebble. The water must then find a new route around the new formation. The banks may overflow, but surely, a new course has been determined, and a new river formation has been made. However, after time, you see the effects the water had on the area below the new rock formation. You see the mineral deposits, the structures that were underwater, and the new growth of grass or trees that begin to reclaim that spot.

{Samskaras}

“Mental impression stored in the subtle body and existing as an archetype in the brain.”  – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH OUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?

 We have the option, every single day, to make one small change towards our goals.

And with this option, we are constantly re-inventing our selves. Who we are, who we want to be, what we want to do, How ….etc. With daily mental practice of  mindfulness, we can address our goals and make clear actions towards obtaining them. You have been working on these previous goals the entire year, underneath the surface. It is due to your reflection throughout the year, that you have decided to either continue, halt, or change your habits.  Kino Yoga has a great article about Samskaras as well.

{Iceberg Model: Yoga}

What you see on the outside, is a reflection of what is going on inside.

Another theory with samskaras is the the iceberg model (theory). Like an iceberg in the ocean, only 10% of it is showing above surface, the other 90% is submerged. This other 90% is what built up the iceberg to even show above water. It can be applied to thought processes, and even yoga. So you may see someone going into a full headstand, but not see the countless hours they spent practicing. Or maybe you see someone sit out a posture, unaware that they may be recovering from trauma.

 

New Year, New You: Indeed It Is!

With every year, we gain a new perspective on our selves, and others. Let your resolutions bring forth the change you wish to see within yourself. Here is to a happy and prosperous year for 2017!

 

About Jen Allen

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