Rock Your Resolutions!

January 1st is a natural firebreak to dismiss the old and embrace the new. Rocking our resolutions invariably entails finding ways to re-pattern old habits.

Our brain works on a trigger / reward mechanism. If we eat a chocolate chip cookie and experience a satisfying surge of sweetness then part of us is committed to repeating that experience.

When repetitive behaviors forge neuron pathways a habit is born. So how do we counter our knee-jerk nature? The answer is to formulate goals that are more compelling than our well traveled comfort zone. Then we need to parse our goals into a long term vision and short term steps. The first step is to help our mind understand why our goal is worth sacrificing for. Our mind's job is to help us calculate whether our goal is realistic in view of circumstances, probabilities and precedents. It's a negotiation, but remember our mind only knows where we've been, not where we're going.

There are many habit hacks. One strategy is to model ourselves after and associate with people who have cracked the code of what we're trying to accomplish and to distance ourselves from those who have been enablers for our previous unfruitful behavior. Another strategy is to simply move. Any type of exercise will get our energy flowing and that will create momentum for getting stuff done.

Like water, our energy tends to pool in low places (first chakra) unless there is a mechanism to pump it up. In order to maintain ourselves in higher consciousness we have to elevate our energy daily. When trying to shake things up what works is to move from the first into any of the chakras above it. Our brain stem / first chakra has its roots in the familiar. In first chakra mode we find comfort in same old / same old ways of being. To that insecure self, newness is scary! The first chakra's job is to cement patterns previously established. It penchant is to wallow, idle, and hold tight. The second chakra thrives on newness and creative flow. The third is all about indefatigable will. The fourth is expansion and unbounded joy. The fifth is thy will be done. The sixth is a vision so wonderful that a new normalcy is required. The seventh represents fearless surrender to the Universe's plan for us. The eighth chakra is life in the vast lane.

A powerful way to move out of inertia and up the ladder of lights is Sat Kriya. Even three minutes can redirect us out of the most indelible rut. If you're not familiar with Sat Kriya reply to this e-mail and we'll cue you in. It's also in almost all of our DVD's and in our book.

In our book we give Life Exercises for each of the chakras. These can make all the difference. In fact when it all comes down to it, the willingness to extend our yoga practice beyond our mat will put us in a prime position to make beautiful breakthroughs. As yogis we want to be observing our mind all day long and always be ready for our mind to make trouble. When it acts out we need to firmly lay down the law. Our mind will eventually thank us for the structure and focus by granting us peace of mind. From that place we can do anything and be anything.

To really rock our resolutions what's required are methods we can invoke in the moment to master impulse control. A neat hack for success is to practice feeling how it will feel when our goal is finally realized. If we can keep that feeling strong, reality will form around it. When cheesecake is beckoning remind yourself that nothing tastes as good as being healthy and fit feels. Another thing you can try when feeling sorely tempted
is to press the underside of your tongue against your upper palate. This will provide a momentary stop gap to be able to say to yourself, 'Hey, wait a second. Do I really want to do this." You can also say or think: Wahay Guru. That will give your mind a treat in lieu of any indulgence. As we say in our book, discipline is remembering what we really want.