Bikram Shoudhury, a well known Indian yoga teacher who founded Bikram yoga said, “You’re never too old, never too bad, never too late and never too sick to start from scratch once again.” On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, with the Fall season around the corner, this quote is quite fitting and should inspire us to take our next big leap.
A Sweet New Year
A popular new year’s resolution is losing weight, working out, and the overall desire to be more healthy. This past year, I purchased myself a nutribullet and it has changed my life. If you are interested in getting into the smoothie and juice trend, I highly suggest you purchase a high quality blender. A shake makes for a great breakfast, especially when you are on the go. Keeping with the Fall and Rosh Hashanah theme, forgo your apples and honey and make an apple and honey smoothie. The following recipe will blow your mind, keep you fit, and allow you to keep up with holiday traditions.
Apple & Honey Smoothie
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple (remove core)
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 ice cubes
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
Letting Go of Last Year’s Garbage
On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the sweetness of a new year, but it is also a day of judgment, where we are forced to confront our mistakes from the previous year and aim to do better next year. In the new year, we essentially start from scratch. Therefore, in addition to setting goals, it is important that we let go of anything that has been holding us back.
I like the yoga mantra, Om Gum Ganapateyi Namaha, which means “to release obstacles.” By using this mantra in our meditation, it helps us let go of whatever is blocking our path. Perhaps these obstacles were put there as a test, so we could learn how to work around them and move on. When yoga teachers tell us “let go of anything you are holding on to,” we can breath through our poses and our current situations, let go of negative thoughts, and move on with our practice and our lives.
Vrksasana, or Tree Pose is one of my favorite one-legged balances, that requires a strong foundation and focus. My trick for executing a successful tree pose is maintaining a strong standing leg and finding an object directly in front of me to focus on. Tree pose is said to have originated back in the seventh century. In ancient times, wandering holy men would meditate in this posture for long periods of time as a practice of self-discipline.
In some traditions, it is believed that a yogi Indian king, Bhagiratha, stood on one leg for a long time to appease the Hindu god Shiva, and repent for his sins. This teaches us that we can let go of previous negative behaviors and conquer new goals, by maintaining control of our bodies and our minds.
In the following picture, I am completing a tree pose in front of a tree on a street in Midtown East in Manhattan. If you look closely, there is a bag of someone’s garbage nearby. Let’s not focus on last year’s garbage, but instead work towards a brighter future.
Fall Lace-Ups You’ll Love
Start the new year/season off on the right foot by adding a great autumn addition to your closet. I might be slightly biased because of my affinity for the color burgundy, but I think these shoes from Lulu’s (only $39) would make an excellent addition to any Fall wardrobe. These lace-up boots are perfect for the transition from the warmer to colder months and would look perfect with anything from leggings to skinny jeans to (LBT’S) little black dresses.
I am dedicating today’s post and yoga practice to my sister, who has confronted many obstacles in her work-life but has moved through them gracefully. She is fortunate enough to be starting a great new job doing something she loves. As we encounter challenges in the coming year, let’s make a resolution to breathe through them. We may find something wonderful waiting on the other side.