Woman doing yoga at sunset.

In yoga class, the teacher will often suggest that you “set an intention for your yoga practice”. The intention is something to come back to, to keep you focused, to take you deeper into your self.  This new year, consider setting a larger, more comprehensive intention: one to keep you on track for the entire year.  Your New Year’s intention may be as straightforward as committing to a daily yoga practice, to complete a teacher training, or maybe to change some aspects of your lifestyle. You might want to think of your New Year’s intention as a type of New Year’s resolution, but one emanating from a place of self-care and gratitude.

Gratitude is key for New Year’s intentions.  Gratitude is a multiplier, so whatever it is that you feel grateful for will continue to manifest in your life.  As you begin to contemplate what your New Year’s intention (or intentions) will be, look for gratitude in all that you have.   Sit in stillness and tap into the energy of the heart center, and allow yourself to actually FEEL the energy that flows from the heart.

Kundalini Yoga offers some wonderful meditations that you can practice to open yourself up to gratitude, and to trust your divine self.  One of my favorites is to chant Guru Guru Wahe Guru.  Choose a version that you like (my favorite is Sada Sat Kaur’s) and chant or even sit quietly and listen to it for 11, 22 or even 31 minutes. Then take out a notebook and begin to make a list of whatever pops into your head that you are grateful for.

Sometimes, seeing all that we can be grateful for allows us to better set our intentions for how we would like the coming year to evolve.  Use this meditation to connect with the part of you that feels most alive and powerful.  Then try this: Imagine that you have anything and everything that might be missing from your life.  Create a powerful visualization that these things exist, and then express gratitude for them as if they were already present. Use your yoga skills to quiet and dismiss any chatter in the mind that blocks you from really manifesting these images. Then maybe adopt these images as your New Year’s intentions.

If you find yourself struggling with this exercise, try practicing some kriyas to balance the negative mind.  The Kriya for the Second Body is an excellent way to relieve some of the negativity that sometimes overwhelms and limits us. Then try chanting the mantra Ardas Bhaee, which can bring clarity and take you back to the heart center. According to Yogi Bhajan, this is a mantra for answered prayers. Sit in Virasana, on your left heel with your right knee bent and your right foot on the floor next to your left thigh.  Bring your palms together in prayer pose with the hands in front of your face just in front of your third eye.  Chant for 11 to 31 minutes.  Then come back to your gratitude list and visualize that all has manifested.

You may also want to explore using other kriyas for the same purpose. If so, I recommend the DVD “Kundalini Yoga for the Heart Center”, taught by Akasha with live music by Jai-Jagdeesh. This DVD is a one-hour yoga class that opens the heart center and attracts opportunity and prosperity. This yoga set helps you realign your approach to prosperity by connecting with the plane of attraction through your heart center.  It is a kriya that you can come back to time and time again, whenever you have a desire to revisit your intentions.

See where your heart takes you this New Year.  Set your intentions, and open yourself up to gratitude for all that you already have.  Maybe it will change the course of the coming year. Sat nam.


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