by Sonya Simpson: At this time of year, I find myself stepping away from the Asana of yoga and sitting within contemplation of the Yamas…

Awaken

Perhaps this is due to the fact that I stop teaching around now and spend some time living in my caravan at the beach, it could be that school holidays mean that each time I move through the poses my five-year-old decides that he should be on my back, or maybe it’s due to the fact that one calendar year is drawing to a close and I can reflect on how my year has been.

Whatever the reason, I know I am not alone in feeling the urge to set some intentions, and when I find myself pencilling a little list, I like to use the Yamas as my guide. Just in case you need a little refresher, here they are in simple form.

Ahimsa

Compassion for all living things

That’s towards yourself as well remember. Not harming others or ourselves. No more destructive self-talk, poisoning our planet, violence… you get it?

Satya

Commitment to the truth 

Straight up honesty, even when Its hard, even when it seems counterintuitive, even if it means stepping away from gossip.

Asteya

Not stealing

That goes for time, possessions and attention just for a start. It’s a little more complex than just steering clear of pocketing other people’s stuff but we’ll dive a little deeper into this another time.

Brahmacharya

Merging with the one

It’s a big one. I explore it as a connection to the mother; our planet and the god within.

Aparigraha

Non grasping

Letting go of the need to strengthen our egos with wanting, reaching and desiring… or at least recognising it as it occurs.

These concepts guide me in trying to form my basis for the year ahead.

Goals for 2020

See things as they truly are. That way you can implement change or practice acceptance and get on with it.

Love yourself, even the dark parts, shine light on them and let them breathe.

Stop using plastic, don’t aim to use less, don’t hope to do better, it’s too late for that so just make a change now.

Buy 2nd hand. We’ve produced enough crap to keep circling the globe a number of times so let’s use it again.

Be Kind, to the person next to you in line, the person trying to merge into the stream of traffic, the neighbour who shouts, your children, just be kind.

Love our children, and they are all of ours, when they smile, smile back. Let them be free, don’t force them to conform to old fashioned expectations that don’t do any of us any good. We need them to be creative energetic thinkers, not quiet frightened boxes that we can stack neatly.

Respect this planet and the creatures that live here, in the oceans, the land or even in your houses. Re-home that spider if you can’t live with it, don’t kill it just because you don’t understand it.

Move more, ride your bike when you need to get somewhere close by, stretch when you wake in the morning, get to know your aches and pains, accept them or relieve them. You can’t escape your body so enjoy living in it.

Don’t judge or gossip. We are all on this planet doing the best we can do with what we have been given, understand that sometimes you just don’t understand.

Look around and notice the beauty, look up, look down, look inside and see. The light, the dark and the smudges of colour in between.

Know that you’re ok, just as you are, just as you’ve always been, whatever it is that you find know you are loved.

Eat less beef and consume less dairy. Excessive dairy farming is not great for our planet, science has proven it plenty.

Take responsibility and act, when you see someone crying ask if they’re ok, pick up the plastic you see on the side of the road. There’s no point being annoyed at the person at fault. If you don’t act that person is you.

Find purpose and community, if that seems a daunting task then start with this list and pretty soon you’ll find you have both.

Source: The Yoga Lunchbox