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Dec 31 2023-Starting the New Year with a Sankalpa- Detoxify With A Twisting Yoga Practice-Make Black Eyed Peas for Good Luck

As I was thinking about the new year and starting anew, I realized that this resolution process is what we do every time we step on our yoga mat. We have that “Groundhog Day” moment (referring to the movie Caddy Shack) where we get a “do over” every time we begin. Our yoga practice, in essence, is a series of January 1sts where we explore, recommit, and grow in our practice, and in life.

There is a Sanskrit word sankalpa. The word describes a commitment or resolve from the heart (versus the mind). In other words, it is an intention or vow that directs mental energies toward honoring the deeper meaning of our life. It is an aspiration or goal describing a resolve from the heart. It is not about losing weight or giving up sweets but about creating the life you are meant to have. A sankalpa focuses on the higher goals of our lives, our dharma, what defines us or our overriding purpose. We can recall our sankalpa regularly to remind ourselves of our true nature and guide our choices. 


So instead of our usual type of resolutions, suggest we take inspiration from our yoga practice and focus on a sankalpa this January. And still eat the chocolate.😂🍫☮️


Here is an article about sankalpa that you may find interesting:



Each January for the past several years I have revisited the eight limbs of yoga in class and the blog. We will do it again this winter, starting next week, and I hope that we can share some new ideas and conversation as well as remind ourselves of the basics. 


Our Practice – Twisting the Old Away

Some ancient medical traditions, including those found in yoga promote twisting postures to “wring out” toxins from your organs and stimulate circulation.  Twisting helps with spinal health, range of motion and overall flexibility.  Whether or not you subscribe to the physical properties of the twists, the symbolism of twisting or wringing bad things out and getting things healthfully flowing is powerful. 


Think about twisting out the old and bringing in space for the new!


For more on this topic, see link to article from Huffington Post. I love that they remind us about B.K.S. Iyengar likening twists to a “squeeze and soak” for its cleansing, detoxifying nature.



Meditation – The New Year

I love reading this poem each new year during savasana.


A Blessing for the New Year - John O'Donohue

On the day when

The weight deadens

On your shoulders

And you stumble,

May the clay dance

To balance you.

And when your eyes

Freeze behind

The grey window

And the ghost of loss

Gets in to you,

May a flock of colours,

Indigo, red, green,

And azure blue,

Come to awaken in you

A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays

In the currach of thought

And a stain of ocean

Blackens beneath you,

May there come across the waters

A path of yellow moonlight

To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

May the clarity of light be yours,

May the fluency of the ocean be yours,

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow

Wind work these words

Of love around you,

An invisible cloak

To mind your life.

Nurturing With Food – New Years Black Eyed Peas and Greens Soup - Redux

There's evidence that Jewish people ate black-eyed peas as a part of the holiday Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, for hundreds of years. But the tradition of cooking black-eyed peas with rice is African in origin. It spread through the South, especially in the Carolinas, in the form of pilaus or rice dishes simmered for a long time with chicken or shrimp. When black-eyed peas were added to the pilau, it became Hoppin' John.


I have shared this recipe each year around New Years. I love legumes and greens combined.  Whether you make this for New Years Day or just during the cold of winter, I suggest we try this warm and nurturing soup all winter long!  It will be a bonus if it brings us good luck!  



See you on the mat!



Julia Anne



















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