Self-improvement is at the top of everyone’s list at the start of a new year. It’s why we see all those Weight Watchers commercials on TV, lots of new faces at the gym, and a spike in Nicarette product sales.
For many, the New Year represents a new start. An estimated 45% of Americans resolve to make some form of personal change each year. Unfortunately, while intentions may start out strong, a mere 8% successfully achieve their resolutions.
This number may not sound very reassuring, but there is some good news. Studies have shown that practicing yoga and meditation provide the tools needed for lasting change.
How Yoga Helps Cultivate Change
Yoga unifies the body and mind, helping to transform old thought-patterns that cause us to act instinctively into new thought-patterns that help us act more mindfully.
Through yoga, we can retrain our brains – our thoughts, attitudes and intentions – to help fuel lasting long-term change. Attention and observation through mindfulness make us aware of our automatic patterns, while intention and practice reinforce new desired behaviour.
Of course, self-transformation requires much more than simply establishing a regular yoga practice. Changing one’s thoughts, habits, or life direction is about getting really clear on your goals. This can be where a lot of people stumble.
The Problem with Setting Goals
When you think of a big goal or dream, it’s natural to think of all the obstacles that will come your way. The problem is, you can become so fixated on these obstacles that it inhibits you from moving forward at all. This is why many of us become complacent with mediocrity short-term, but unhappy with our lives long-term.
The Power of Visualisation
Visualisation is one of the most powerful mental exercises you can do to push past complacency and affect personal change.
Visualisation involves the use of mental imagery to create visions of what you want in your life and how to make them happen. By imagining yourself performing perfectly, or doing exactly what you want, you physiologically create neural patterns in your brain, just as if you had physically performed the action. The thought can stimulate the nervous system in the same way as the actual event does.
Used correctly, visualisation can bring about self-improvement, maintain good health, help you perform well in sports, and accomplish your life goals.
Olympic athletes have been using visualisation for decades to improve performance. Mohammed Ali and Michael Jordan are two very well known athletes to have mastered the technique of positive visualisation. Many other professions, including public speakers, actors, comedians, politicians, and entrepreneurs, now use it. Visualisation is a great tool for anyone looking to create real, impactful change.
Why You Need a Vision Board
Creating a vision board can be a powerful way of tapping into your deepest desires, visualising your dreams, and bringing them to the forefront of your consciousness.
A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, it is a board filled with images, quotes, or anything else of your choosing, that represents what you want to be, do, or have in your life.
When you create a vision board and display it somewhere prominent, you are essentially doing short visualisation exercises throughout the day. This ensures that your dreams and goals don’t fall to the wayside as you get caught up in the chaos of everyday life.
A vision board helps bring you back in alignment with your “big-picture” plans. In doing so, you can refocus your energy and take small, actionable steps everyday to manifest those dreams.
Upcoming Vision Board Workshop
Have you ever created a vision board? Now is your chance to do so! Yoga City is hosting a Vision Board Workshop on Friday, January 27 (7pm-9:30pm).
Join Debbie for a 60-minute yoga flow and meditation class, followed by a vision board crafting session! Get clear, focused and energized for 2017, with your very own vision board to take home!
Spaces are limited. Reserve your spot today.
Debbie is a Yoga Instructor at Yoga City, Mississauga. She has been practicing yoga since 2008 and completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 with Yoga City. Debbie has a professional background in writing and digital marketing, with a passion for Health, Wellbeing and Personal Growth. She is thrilled to be able to combine both as the Editor of the Yoga City blog. You can follow Debbie on Instagram @yoga.bee