2020 not only marks the New Year, but also a new decade. It’s important to start off on the right foot, and what better way to set your intentions than yoga? To help ring in 2020, I thought about what yoga pose embodies and fulfills my intentions for the upcoming year, and reached out to some fellow yoga instructors for their insight as well. Perhaps you can integrate the following poses into your morning routine or daily practice to fulfill your intentions, too:
To start, my ultimate pose to help me achieve two intentions for 2020 is actually savasana. I picked it for two main reasons. One – I want to get on my mat more in 2020. So, if I’m doing savasana, I know I made a class and can celebrate the win. Two – I need to slowwwww things down. I know that by slowing down, I am more productive, more creative, and simply happier overall. Pushing pause to integrate both my practice and my day can have profound effects on my life.
To do this at home, find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes. Lie down in a way that gives you total support, whether on the floor, on a bed or on a sofa. Ensure you have space to spread your arms away from your body, and let your feet relax open to the right and left. If you feel any discomfort in your low back, slide a pillow under your knees.
Begin with a few, long, slow breaths, savoring an open mouth exhalation to help let go. Seal your lips, and let your breath move in and out with a steady cadence as you close your eyes. If your mind wanders, compassionately guide it back by following your breath move in and out. Stay for 5 minutes or longer. When you’re ready to come out, wiggle your fingers and toes, take a full-body stretch, and then roll to one side. Slowly push yourself up to a seat, end with a final cleansing breath, and go take on your day.
E-RYT and master trainer for YogaSix, Valerie Lucas, said that for her, 2020 is about letting go of the need to control everything, remaining open to possibility and trusting the process. A great pose to fulfill this New Year intention is Humble Warrior. It is a variation of Warrior One that opens the hips and the heart and requires you to be grounded before fully surrendering into the pose. Without grounding first, you could literally fall on your face, so this pose offers a gentle reminder to find balance between effort and ease, as well as trust within the pose.
If your desire for 2020 is to apply the flexibility cultivated in your physical practice to the expectations you set for yourself and others, tree pose might be for you. Emilie Porter-Rand, E-RYT and Master Trainer for YogaSix, thinks so because trees are sturdy and strong while still bending and moving as the environment changes around them. To connect to the steady and fluid strength of a tree at home, bring your feet together and rest your thumbs at the center of your chest with the palms touching. Shift your weight into your left leg and draw your right heel away from the earth. Keep the right knee bent as you rotate your right thighbone to the side until your kneecap points away from your inner left thigh and your right foot presses against the inside of your left calf or ankle. Adjust your pelvis until the space between your hips and your armpits are the same length on both sides of your body. And just like that, you are a tree!
While these are great poses to kick-start 2020, the ways in which yoga can help us fulfill our intentions are limitless. With that said, over to you! What pose will embody your journey through the start of the new decade?