January/February 2011

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n : a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence: physical equilibrium: mental and emotional steadiness BALANCE by Danielle Polen A Resolution Revolution > I n the December issue’s “Balance” column, we looked at how year-end rituals can help us maintain balance during the busy holiday season. Tis month, we explore ringing in the New Year with the power of positive intention, rather than with unrealistic and inflexible resolutions. While craſting new year’s resolutions can be a worthy exercise, statistics show that only 46 percent of such resolutions make it past the six-month mark. Oscar Wilde said it best when he wrote: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” At the yoga studio where I teach, we call the throngs of new students who invariably appear each January “Resolutionists.” And we know that by March or so, many of them will have rolled up their new yoga mats permanently and stashed them at the back of the closet. So how can we craſt resolutions that inspire us toward positive change rather than those that engender feelings of guilt or failure? Fitness industry leader Liz Neporent believes that making our resolutions more specific, creating a “plan of attack,” and tracking our progress can help give our new year’s resolutions some traction. Health and lifestyle journalist Catherine Guthrie suggests infusing our resolutions with a yogic twist and praising the nobility of our efforts rather than focusing on what we are doing wrong (or not doing at all). Finally, for those of you wanting to take your resolutions into the digital age, there’s even an iPhone app that lets you track your new year’s goals! I suspect that at some point in the future A MOBILE RESOLUTION: Download the free LeadMyGoals iPhone app! 25% THE PERCENTAGE OF YOU THAT ALREADY HAVE GIVEN UP ON YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. u As Rhett and Link’s “New Year’s Resolution Song” suggests, “adopt a more realistical [sic] view by committing to things that come easily to you.” an app will be developed that can actually carry out our resolutions for us. Until then, however, we can choose to celebrate our accomplishments, however small, or we can choose to berate ourselves for the weight we didn’t lose, the exercise plan we didn’t follow, or the eight other resolutions that we haven’t thought about since January 1. Frankly, I prefer celebrating. You? Danielle Polen is the associate director of AILA Publications. She is also an experienced, registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance (E-RYT, RYT500) and a member of both the Mid-Atlantic Yoga Association (MAYA) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). She practices and teaches yoga in Washington, D.C., and also leads workshops and retreats throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. She can be reached at dpolen@aila.org. Articles in VOICE do not necessarily represent the views of AILA, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. AILA does not endorse these or any other third-party products unless otherwise stated. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 27 u

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