Reflections, new intentions and resolutions are so much a part of this time of year. This is especially the case with anyone looking to feel and live better and who believe or have been told they can use Yoga, meditation or other self care practice as a vehicle for this type of change. It can be a challenge to start and sustain any lifestyle change and building a Yoga or meditation habit is no different.  Sometimes we aren’t able to figure out how to get going or find we have fallen away from that which seemed so promising when we began.

With this comes questions of whether resolutions to create such lifestyle changes work or whether they are worthwhile, etc. I believe that question is limited in its scope. Those of us involved helping people make positive change realize that the path to change often comes with fits and starts that are of often a part of the learning process. Helping those with who we help embrace the idea that ultimately change is a process with its own set of challenges and joys, can be a crucial part of finding ultimate success is essential in achieving their goals.

Often when efforts to change meet with limited success we haven’t yet found our true reason; just “why” we are looking to make the changes we seek. This reason for doing what we may need to do for success in achieving a goal is often different from what we think initially. When  I work with clients trying to overcome significant pain problems or health concerns, feeling less pain, being more relaxed or stress free, or seeing bone density or blood pressure values improve are often not the “why” to which they need to connect to in order to sustain lasting success. Steering our deeper selves to sustainable habits that bring more lasting changes most often requires us to access more emotionally compelling reasons for what we  are doing. This is what support persistence in overcoming  obstacles and setbacks that may occur along the way.

Uncovering  and understanding the toll our issues are taking on some aspect what we love, are seeking, or aspire to are some ways to discover our real motivators. For example, many suffering  from significant pain problems find just wanting to feel better and get pain down  to a certain level is to be a specific and meaning full goal that can get them started. However, as these initial goals are approached motivation can wane as inner resistances and other obstacles emerge and it gets harder to keep going. This is true even if there are negative consequences to stopping what they are doing for themselves or there is clearly more benefit to be achieved.

Over the years it has become more clear that incorporating one’s longing or desire to recover that which we have lost or are in danger of losing that has deeper emotional importance is key.  Getting back to gardening, hiking with our partner, golfing with our buddies, attending the graduations or weddings of loved ones, and enjoying time playing with children or grandchildren are just some of the deeper and more compelling reasons client discover gives them a more abiding motivation to get and stay on track attaining their goals.

Maryea, author of Happy Healthy Mama. writes about the importance of finding your why a you try to incorporate more healthy choices in our lives:

“I encourage you to find your whys. Every time I’m faced with a choice that may cause me to wander off course, I ponder these whys.  I force them into my mind and I remind myself that they matter more than whatever is tempting me.  It’s the best way I know to stay the course for the long run.”.(1)

As exciting and important as our resolutions and intentions for healthful change can be, actually beginning and walking the path of change can bring friction as you steer a different course. Recognizing this she asks this about your reasons for embarking on this path
… Is it sustainable?  Do you have a strong enough why to keep you on the healthy living path when temptation is all around you? Is your why compelling enough to make healthy choices when everyone around you seems to be on the opposite path?(2)

All of this doesn’t come fully formed for most of us and that is one of the first obstacles on this Way of Wellness. So as the new year begins I invite you to get started on fulfilling those resolutions for a better life and letting all that arises  be part helping find the ‘why” of your journey. And of course, we welcome you to incorporate yoga and mediation as powerful supports for you in that journey.

(1)Healthy Living; What is Your Why

(2)Healthy Living, What is Your Why ,

Depending on the situation, private yoga lessons may be the right approach to getting started or taking yoga practice to the next leve to work through the challenges outlined above. I teach both individual and group Yoga classes in the Guilford, Madison, Branford and New Haven and Woodbridge areas. In addition, I specialize in employing yoga therapy and other powerful energetic, meditative and corrective movement practices that offer non medical way to help with stress management, mitigating the effects of long term stress, developing physical and mental balance and resolving movement difficulties and chronic pain. For a free, no-risk consultation on which services may best meet your needs please call me at (203)488-1700.