The New Year is fast approaching, and it is common practice for most of us to reflect on what we have accomplished this past year and to set goals for the year ahead.

This approach may also be utilized when it comes to our yoga practice. Our bodies and the reasons why we do things are ever changing. Our circumstances change, so we must continually re-examine our position on things. Are we fulfilling a goal, are we nurturing a void? We always go to our mats for different reasons. It’s also true that when we perhaps have time away from our mats that it is the time when most reflection is done.

This time away can help to pull us back to it. Some part of that may be to fulfil goals like the achievement of a particular pose, getting stronger, and/or to relieve pain in some part of the body. These are all valid and excellent goals. Yoga has the ability to not only allow you to achieve all of these things but to also take us on a journey of further self-discovery. There is something about being still and/or moving on our mats that allows us to get quiet with our breath and become closer to our inner selves. This is how we also come closer to filling voids.

Feeling depleted and/or broken at different times in our lives are very real. There are times of yearning for more or trying to figure out what the answers are. It may seem silly to some that going to sit or move on a mat by doing a bunch of poses can help to fill a void, but it really can. That quiet, that meditation, it forces us to reflect and find perspective when maybe we can’t in other situations in our lives. The noise is eliminated and when we practice with consistency, the nervous system is trained to calm and be in a state of more homeostasis. These are some of the contributing factors that help us to fill some parts that may be missing.

It’s wonderful to get stronger, leaner, and even ease pain. The beauty of the practice I think is found in the totality of the experience. It’s achieving all of those things coupled with its’ ability to fill our spiritual and emotional cups.

The New Year is a wonderful time to invite these experiences that the mat holds for us.A time to be, to reflect, to move, be still, and to build deeper relationships with ourselves. Let’s take some time on the mat, so that our life away from it may be more enriched.

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As you come to your mat at the closing of this year, think about where you were feeling emotionally, and physically at the beginning of this year.Do you feel like you have grown in the ways you expected?Do you feel like you stayed true to your path in yoga and in life?

What are some changes you would like to make going forward?What are some of the amazing surprises you achieved in your practice, in life?

These are a lot of questions, but they are necessary for continuing to move forward.

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