As we approach the end of 2016, this is a great time for reflection.
What are the highlights of your year in 2016?
Did you meet your goals?
What surprises were you greeted with?
What struggles did you overcome?
I am so grateful for everything that has happened in 2016. Although it started with a breakup in my romantic life, it blossomed into experiences that I both dreamed up and was surprised with. My sister, Coaching with Rebekah, guided me through the life-changing process of becoming aware of the power of my thoughts and mindset. Awareness in my physical yoga practice has also been carrying over to my personal life.
In May of 2016, I finally took the magical trip that I’ve been dreaming of for the past decade, a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.
I stayed focused on my goals for writing my weekly blog, that led to being pleasantly surprised when I was awarded as one of the best yoga blogs on the planet in 2016 (from 3 different sources).
Unexpectedly, I attended my first silent meditation retreat, then led my first two themed yoga retreats in Southern California.
I stumbled upon the opportunity to produce unique yoga leggings as well as a sponsorship by Fresh and Fit Meals.
I kicked the bottle and I’m almost finished writing my first book.
In the process, I’ve read many enlightening books such as….
As we move forward another year wiser, we often create new goals as a vision towards our best self. Our journey through this life is about saying yes to the things that help us become the best version of our self and no to the things that don’t.
However, being yourself requires the work of self-study. In yoga philosophy, we call this svadhyaya. As the 4th Niyama in Pantajali’s Limbs of Yoga, it means to intentionally find self-awareness in all our activities and efforts. Through self-reflective consciousness we can learn to welcome and accept our strengths and limitations without reacting to these dualities. We can strive to dissolve self-destructive inclinations.
Let’s take a journey deep within us, to our Chakra system. When we live with self awareness, we can balance these seven spheres of energy to feel whole, unified, and at peace.
What goals can you make and actions can you take to become more balanced on each of these levels?
Our first chakra resides at the base of our tailbone, or wherever we make contact with the earth. It represents our roots for grounding and usually has to do with our relationship with basic needs sucha as money, jobs, home, clothes, etc.
How will you find a balance between getting your basic needs met without excess of material things?
My first Chakra goal for 2017 is to get my first book published. I aim to receive money in exchange for the value that I am giving. I’ve been creating a multitude of videos, blogs, and themed yoga classes in my spare time, but I haven’t seen the results in money thus far. I’m going to manifest money in the form of compensation for the time spent in production, so that I can spend more time learning and growing. I also aim to write my second book, along with a new video course, as a result of my travels.
Our second chakra is about creativity and productivity. This orange energy spins around our reproductive organs. Elizabeth Gilbert proclaims in Big Magic that we all have a creative side, even though our mediums and outlets vary from writing, painting, designing, engineering, cooking, dancing, singing, speaking, coding, baking, acting, or even bedazzling your ox. She remarks, “To even call somebody ‘a creative person’ is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species. We have the senses for it; we have the curiosity for it; we have the opposable thumbs for it; we have the rhythm for it; we have the language and the excitement and the innate connection to divinity for it…The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them…Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
What are your current creative goals? Will you make time and develop courage for it?
I am going to leave space in my daily and weekly schedule for ideas to land. It’s tempting to fill my schedule with lessons, serving shifts, and yoga classes, but I’m going to designate at least 3 chunks of 4 hours each week to write, record, plan, and sequence.
Our third chakra is where we find our willpower. It is often associated with diet and exercise as energy in equals energy out. Most people focus on this energy center after sugar filled feasts around the winter holidays. We resolve to go on a diet or follow a strict exercise program.
What changes will you make to your eating and exercising routines?
In 2017, I want to learn more about what we eat in term of energetic properties. I’ve started reading a book about Ayurveda called Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom by Acharya Shunya as I will incorporate this eastern philosophy into my eating habits.
Further, I’m going to challenge my body to a week of yoga at the International Yoga Festival of Rishikesh in India and a 2 week trek to Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas. I’m training with 1-2 difficult hikes each week and 20 pounds of weights in my pack. Although I’ve made this commitment to my body and spirit, I still need your help. Would you love to hear about the adventures and lessons that I learn along the way? Will you donate to my growth?
Our fourth chakra is involves our heart, both physically and symbolically. I’m focusing on deep breathing, as a part of our respiratory/cardiovascular systems, during my high-altitude hike as I’m reading The Power of Breath by Swami Saradananda.
Further, I’m focusing on empathy when I encounter others. Lately when someone does something that goes against my values, instead of reacting in anger, I tell myself, “They just haven’t learned this yet on their journey.” Then I try to find a common ground in conversation.
How can you improve your awareness through breathing and finding commonality?
Our fifth chakra encompasses space and speaking our truth. This involves setting and respecting boundaries instead of behaving in a passive/aggressive pattern.
I’ve made some progress in this category during 2016. In 2017, I will be teaching at an international yoga convention in Amorgos, Greece. I could let nerves and fear mess me up, but instead I'm going to focus on feeling comfortable with this communication experience with positive expression and faith that my words will be well recieved.
When our 5th Chakra is balanced and centered, we take responsibility for our own needs with truthful confession. We practice conscious listening and calmly give and receive constructive crtiicism.
In what ways can you grow in your speaking and listening practices?
Our six chakra is about seeing clearly.
I aim to notice beauty everywhere I turn and recreate as much as possible. I intend to stay focused on my vision for this year as I am open to seeing the world in a new light.
How can you see the world in a different life?
What is your vision for 2017?
This crown source of energy is what connects us. Yoga means union. Union between our mind and body as well as union amongst all living beings.
This year I will continue my self study of unity in the form of reading, walking in nature, writing, breathing, meditating, yoga, and loving other people and creatures. I seek to continue to donate to individuals and organizations such as Amnesty, Goodwill, friends, family, and guests.
How will you stay connected to all living beings?
Overall, 2016 has been a huge year for me.
I thank all of my siblings, students, followers, family members, and fellow yoga instructors, for their influence in the events of this year!
Please share your highlights of 2016 and goals for chakra balancing in 2017 in the comments section below!
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
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