New Year's Resolutions: How Do I Begin?
"How do I begin?" It's probably one of the most asked questions when we want to start a spiritual practice, exercise routine, diet, new discipline, begin a project - especially after setting New Years intentions. The first step from nothing to something. MP Pandit wrote about the importance of intentionality in starting and maintaining spiritual practice in his 1980 book How Do I Begin, A Primer of Affirmative Spirituality.
In the first few pages of the book he stresses the importance of practicing asanas or movement, indicating that we should not get lost in pure physical gains but form a thoughtful relationship with the physical part of our nature:
"How do you awaken consciousness? First, respect the body, treat it as a potential temple to be raised to a high level of awareness before it can become as alive, as vibrant as your heart or the mind. Observe its movements, its reaction, study them carefully and follow that directions that are articulated in its responses. The readiness on your part to listen to its promptings and respond to them furthers the body's communication. Every movement of exercise must be done with full attention, with a word to the concerned limb to cooperate. Coax the resistant parts, do not coerce the, Follow an order of exertion and then relaxation to each part . If you can combine the breathing with each movement, that introduces a rhythm. Treat the body as a friend and it will befriend you in your requirements."
I've always loved that last sentence..."treat the body as a friend and it will befriend you in your requirements."
If you're looking to get started or are just interested in some different approaches to Yoga, explore the 11 diverse learning pathways offered in your YOGA365 app, from Strengthening, 52 Weeks of Pranayama, Meditation, Balancing and more.