10 New Things to Try This Year

We’ve turned the corner into 2018, and a fresh year lies before us like a field of new-fallen snow. What tracks will you make in the months to come, as you forge a path into the future? If you’re inspired to veer off into an unexpected direction, here are 10 new things to try this year that can create small yet significant changes in your day-to-day life.

1. Eat one meal a day in silence. When we set aside distractions and focus on the nourishment we’re taking in, and the textures and taste of our food, gratitude and awareness naturally arise. Kripalu presenter Danny Arguetty likes to make breakfast his silent meal. “It’s the perfect opportunity to commence the day with mindfulness and an open heart,” he says. It’s also an opportunity to try a mindful eating exercise.

2. Get an Ayurvedic healing arts treatment or consultation. Designed to create balance, calm, and harmony, Ayurvedic bodywork is done with herbalized oils chosen for your unique dosha, or constitution. These traditional treatments are derived from the centuries-old practice of Ayurveda, which also offers natural approaches to healing at every level—mind, body, and spirit. Find Ayurvedic practitioners in your area, and learn what to expect in an Ayurvedic consultation.

3. Explore all the ways you can use coconut oil. Are you ready to take coconut oil to the next level—in the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom? Here’s how.

4. Bring more flow into your life (and teaching). If you’re planning to become a yoga teacher this year, leading vinyasa flow is a skill you’ll want to have in your toolkit. The new 200-Hour Kripalu Vinyasa Teacher Training offers an in-depth approach to vinyasa that’s rooted in classic Kripalu methodology. 

5. Try a new creative pursuit. Creativity has been proven to enhance happiness. And there are so many ways to exercise your creative muscles—whether it’s taking a dance or painting class, starting a writing practice (even if you’ve never written before), or learning how to play the harmonica.

6. Start your own meditation practice. Make this the year you get on the meditation cushion (or bench). All you need is a few minutes each day and lots of self-compassion—remember, the only “bad” meditation is the one you don’t do. There are many different forms of meditation, from mantra to metta to walking meditation; you might want to jump-start your practice with an introductory program in which you explore various approaches. Need an extra incentive? Check out the health benefits of meditation.

7. Connect with your inner child. Kripalu presenter Erin Maile O’Keefe, developer of Circus Yoga®, says the curiosity and unselfconsciousness that come naturally to kids gradually erode as we get older. The antidote is to play more. “Play is about taking risks—we discover something new about ourselves,” she says. One of our favorite ways to play here at Kripalu: hula hooping, a popular R&R activity.

8. Drink more tea. Not only are herbal teas warming and comforting, they can also help heal specific areas of imbalance, according to Ayurveda. Read more and get recipes.

9. Spend time outside every day. Getting out in nature is really good for you (which you’ve probably already heard, unless you’re living in a cave and already receiving the benefits). Make a commitment to get outdoors every day, whether you’re hiking, doing yoga on the grass, or opening your senses in a “sit spot”—a place you revisit throughout the seasons, observing how the sights and sounds shift as the year progresses.

10. Pay extra attention to your relationships. Our connections with others can be sources of both positive emotions and better health. Research by Positive Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson shows that the daily moments of connection that we feel with others are “the tiny engines that drive the upward spiral between positivity and health,” she says. If we all resolved to create positive connections with others—in brief interactions, as well as in our most intimate relationships—what wonders might 2018 bring? 

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