In Yoga

Happier, healthier New Years resolutions for 2016

Posted by: on Jan 4, 2016 | 5 Comments

IMG_3619It’s so easy to feel cynical about New Year’s resolutions. How many of us have vowed to hit the gym to find ourselves peacefully couch surfing with the cat by the end of January? However, the global agreement to reflect and set the intention to be better people is really beautiful. It is unfortunate that these resolutions usually take the form of skinnier, stronger, more beautiful instead of happier, healthier, more grateful, and more loving.

I admit that post holidays, I am feeling slightly expanded and extremely motivated to eat salads at lunch and cut the volume of wine. My most recent shopping expedition found me with a cart full of greens, citrus, and every other fruit and vegetable I could get my hands on. The cashier even commented on the sheer volume and variety of fruits and vegetables. But I have to check myself and make sure my intention behind healthy eating and exercise is health and well-being, not vanity. Because physical well-being is vitally important; but, our focus on physical appearance and unattainable beauty standards is unhealthy. Exercise and healthy eating increase longevity, boost our mood, and improve our quality of life. Time and again we are told to eat well (mostly plants!), sleep, exercise, and be grateful. These are resolutions worth keeping.

What I love about this advice, is that yoga supports every single aspect of it. Yoga encourages healthy eating. The yogic observances of non-violence (ahimsa) and cleanliness (saucha) support a healthy diet that does no harm to yourself or others and that is clean and pure. In other words, eat well, mostly plants. One of the most popular yoga resources, Yoga Journal, devotes an entire section to healthy eating each month and on its website. Yoga promotes better sleep and there are whole sequences designed to help you get ready for bed (my personal favorite: legs up the wall pose). Yoga postures (asana) move the body in every direction. There are sequences designed to get you moving fast and sweating and those for cooling down and relaxing. Additionally, yoga is also a wonderful place to incorporate a gratitude practice. It’s easy to incorporate a mantra (like “thank you”) or set a grateful intention (more on that here).

So, I’m not setting resolutions to lose weight, quit drinking, or go to the gym. Instead I want to be better version of myself. I intend to be happier, healthier, more grateful, more loving, and more forgiving this year. My resolution to get there is daily yoga.

5 Comments

  1. Morgan Byrne
    January 4, 2016

    That’s a beautiful resolution, thanks for sharing Hali!

    Reply
    • Hali
      January 9, 2016

      Morgan, thank you! If I want to see a better world, I have to start with myself! <3

      Reply
  2. mom
    January 5, 2016

    Hey, Hali, thanks for your commitment to bringing the world a better Hali! Of course, we tend to love the Hali we already have, so this sounds like a win-win.
    Love you,
    Mom

    Reply
    • Hali
      January 9, 2016

      Thanks, Mom, Love you too.

      Reply
  3. Harriet
    January 21, 2016

    Hey, Hali –
    Is it too late to comment?
    I read this a couple of weeks ago, & was running around, too busy to take time to comment. Right now I’m waiting for my kitchen floor to dry so I can make lunch, so I have a couple of minutes.
    First, I want to salute you for having the right attitude toward taking care of your body. Vanity is always there, and I’m afraid it was first among motives for my weight loss last year. So – not first but right up there, I do make a point of taking care of the old life-machine. I’m still kind of vain, but I am also grateful that something has kept me alive & well for 84 1/2 years!
    Maybe mostly genes.
    I don’t do yoga, but I do qi gong faithfully every morning. Haven’t skipped one since Salem was born at 2:30 in the morning.
    Thanks for a lovely post, & keep up the good work,
    Lots of love (and to Max)
    Grandma

    Reply

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