It began a few years ago, someone started advertising “New Year, New You” with some appealing picture of some young thing being happy, beautiful and carefree. Now every year when the calendar page turns to January “New Year, New You” shows up again. “New Year, New You” is showing up everywhere in the yoga and ayurveda community, even though this concept is totally foreign and opposed to the teachings of yoga and ayurveda .
The catchy phrase tells us, “You aren’t good enough.” “Your experience is meaningless.” “Throw the past away and start over.”
Excuse Me? I refuse to start over. I refuse to throw my knowledge, wisdom, experience out the window every time a new way of doing things arrives. My experience is not to be abandoned every time some “great” advancement occurs.
I will acknowledge that changes are happening in the world and within me. People do not become obsolete after a certain age. Approval from the outside world is no longer required. We do want to be remembered. Making a contribution is high priority. We just do it differently than those in earlier phases of life.
Every day lived has its own experiences. Happy, sad, rough, tiring, loving, some impossibly hard and even tragic, These experiences are not thrown out and to purchase the next experience like the next iphone model.
We live in a culture of planned obsolescence.
I refuse to throw my life into that particular model.
I prefer enrichment.
Yes, I get a certain thrill when I achieve something new or attaining new strength and flexibility in some yoga asana. However those asanas, are built upon something else. I am able to hold those hand balances, because I’ve experienced through my yoga practice focused release.
Focused release does not come to the young and inexperienced. Focused release comes to those who have been on the merry go-round a few times or on the roller coaster ride over and over. A yogini in midlife does not need a new asana, but needs to be in the asana and modeling it for the next generation.
Society survives by the young listening and learning from the elder experience.
Through elders listening and learning from the younger exuberance, society is enriched.
Advancing in age can be confusing and stressful enough without feeling like having to uproot everything you know to fit in to the world today. It doesn’t matter if you are 8, 16, 22, 30, 40 or 55 changes happen, each stage of life is different and each is confusing. It is particularly confusing for women who seem to have had good role models and teaching stories stripped from public and historical view.
I am grateful to my life experience, to my yoga practice and now to my ayurvedic practice which helps me deal with unexpected subtle changes in my health and life.
Yoga and Ayurveda both work to enhance what is there. They both take the raw experience, good, bad or indifferent and enhance it in such a way that life has meaning. The suffering that comes with life can be transformed. There is a context for change. Ayurveda and yoga bring clarity. We can stay with our experiences to see them as blessings and lessons from which we build the future. Ayurveda and yoga are more than herbs and postures, they are ways of diving deep and flying high. Ayurveda and yoga expand the experience of life to our wildest possibilities, while maintaining strong foundations.
No New Year’s resolutions, no “New Me” this year or next.
Thank you very much!
I’m going for enrichment, and clarity as I make my way through life.
Happy Year Renewed!