Happy New Year! It is wonderful to be around the studio during the holidays. The energy is electric as all of us, members and staff, express feelings of goodwill to each other. What an invigorating way to begin the New Year. I especially love to overhear people’s conversations. If you listen closely, you can hear, between the lines, students reflecting on who we are and what we might become.

The 60 Day Challenge has started! (See below for more details.) So many students are participating and the enthusiasm is contagious. Over the years at BYSJ, the power of yoga seems to crescendo during the winter 60 Day Challenge. It’s as if all the year’s work has watered a seed of possibility. And, here we are together (and there is such power in numbers) ready to grow and change. How cool is that! Just walk into BYSJ and you will be hit with a wave of energy that empowers self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and ultimately self-love. Results everyone can get by simply coming in and committing to 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises.

Bikram says verbatim, I sell truth, not cheesecake. Warning to all of you on the Bikram path to enlightenment: you might get all you wish for, but first you must face the truth. After 10 years of practicing Bikram Yoga, I know that I am not always going to feel comfortable in my own skin. This truth makes my practice a lot easier. The quicker you learn to accept the ongoing struggle – as in life – the better off you will be when something disconcerting pops up in your yoga practice. And, it will. Yoga isn’t meant to rattle your peace; it’s meant to dismantle the false beliefs that prevent you from achieving it.

When I am in the yoga room I can really feel my strength and flexibility. I feel my pain and my suffering. I feel the benefit of each muscle contracting. Recently, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards my spine and from my spine. A cellular-level “thank you” for taking care of the biggest component within me that supports all other elements in body and mind.

Can this heightened sense of awareness of sensations in the body provide value to experiences outside the yoga room? Yes. For instance, take your taste buds. If you apply the awareness techniques learned during yoga, you can taste all flavors in a more enhanced manner making the experience of food that much richer. Life’s circumstances follow the same principle. When emotions run high, notice the sensations in the body. Don’t label them; just feel them. All. You don’t judge if you taste spicy versus sweet. So, don’t judge if you feel sadness or joy. It just is. If you remain detached and allow for the experience to exist without judgement, you will begin to have a greater understanding about yourself. The truth will reveal itself and the benefit is helping you to live a more authentic life making smarter choices that align with who you want to be.

Take the 60-Day Challenge (or any resolution you choose this year) to inspire revelations about your own reality. Give it to yourself this year and seek the truth within yourself. Don’t let time pass and wonder, down the line, why you didn’t show up to your own life. We get just one. Make it great!

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. –Sandra Day O’Connor