New Year’s is probably my favorite holiday (in spirit, not in typically exorbitant and excessively drunken practice). It’s about starting fresh with what you have, doing things you’ve been wanting to do, declaring your intentions for the next year. I’m not usually a resolution-maker; I’m kind of a self-improvement junkie so I’m always tweaking my habits anyways. Plus, I don’t like to make good health a source of additional pressure — cause then I rebel against myself like a schizoid.
But this year, post-holiday, I’ve been really inspired by watching a few resolutions actually get carried out — namely this one and this one. Both women committed to daily yoga practices; one general, one specific. Both have described real transformations taking place even in just these few weeks, and I’ve even noticed their writing styles changing.
Luckily, the Chinese have scheduled their new year to scoop up all us late bloomers. I’m using today’s Chinese New Year to resurrect my morning pranayama, and make it a real habit. Kundalini yoga recommends that you practice a set for 40 days to truly master it, psychology books tend to say it’s 30 days to build a habit, and here’s an article that says 21 days is the brain’s minimum:
Brain circuits take engrams (memory traces), and produce neuroconnections and neuropathways only if they are bombarded for 21 days in a row. This means that our brain does not accept “new” data for a change of habit unless it is repeated each day for 21 days (without missing a day).
So, I’m going for 30 Days of Golden Nuggets. Not only does it sound like a fast food special, it promises to burn unresolved emotions. Which I am kind of full of these days, post family time and post breakup. It’s also good for the digestion, which I am also kind of full of. Basically, it’s Navel Lock with breath retention. The intermediate version takes 40 seconds each day. Maximum. If I can’t handle that, then I need to be led around on a little velcro leash. We’ll see if the old routine (Breath of Fire / Alternate Nostril Breathing / meditation) seems appealing afterward. No pressure, though.
If you have a New Year’s resolution you’d like to share, please do! Happy Year of the Ox!