Today is Chinese New Years and one of the traditions leading up to the New Year is to clean the house and cut your hair as an act of getting rid of any misfortune from the previous year and to prepare for good luck to arrive. On New Years Day, new clothes and shoes are worn to symbolize a fresh start and red envelopes are given to children to symbolize good fortune.
Although I celebrate Chinese New Years and participate in many of these traditions, I also believe that we are given opportunities to make a “fresh start” everyday. We are not, and should not, be limited to an entire year of good luck or bad luck. Instead, I believe we have the power to turn a bad situation into a good one, a tough day into a smooth one, and a sad heart into a happy heart.
“We as human beings have the amazing capacity to be reborn at breakfast everyday and say, “This is a new day.””
~ Jack Kornfield
Every time we step into a yoga class and settle into that first pose, whether it’s child’s pose, mountain pose, supine pose, or a seated pose, the only task you have for those first few moments is to begin breathing. Not just regular breathing, but ujjayi breathing, the controlled, deliberate, and slow inhale and exhale through your nose that creates such a deep sound in the back of your throat, that it sounds like an ocean. The breath we use in yoga is so powerful that our exhale can literally force all that stuff weighing heavy on our hearts or clouding our minds, away, if not at least for the entire yoga class, but also perhaps enough to help you walk out of class with a lightness, a freshness, or perhaps a glow of positive energy to help you re-face your challenges with a little more patience and perspective.
I wish you and your loved ones health, wealth, happiness, and good fortune this Chinese New Year of the Horse, and I hope your practice on the mat will help you see everyday as a brand new start!
Power Yoga Playlist – “Brand New Day”
Introduction / Pose Breakdown / Breathwork:
Sun Salutations A & B:
1) “Brand New Day,” by Joshua Radin, 3:31
2) “Silenced By the Night,” by Keane, 3:17
Standing Work Series:
3) “We Found Love,” by Boyce Avenue, 3:38
4) “Beautiful,” by Christina Aguilera, 3:59
5) “Slow and Steady,” by Of Monsters and Men, 5:02
6) “Happy,” by Leona Lewis, 4:02
7) “The Light,” by Sara Bareilles, 4:23
8) “All This Time,” by OneRepublic, 4:02
9) “The Luckiest,” by Ben Folds, 4:22
10) “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” by Katharine McPhee, 3:31
Backbending / Deep Stretching:
11) “Shine,” by Hannah Georgas, 3:18
12) “Be Still,” by The Fray, 2:49
13) “Rose,” by Ludovico Einaudi, 4:17
“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson