Inspiration from My Mat for the New Year

It’s January, the start of a new year and when many people make new goals for what they would like to achieve in the upcoming twelve months. It is a great time to reflect on goals – and the winter in general seems like a good time to turn inward. It may be cold (and in North Texas, that comes and goes), but the days are still short and is an invitation to me to get cozy with a good book or a journal.

Time on my mat helps me turn inward and reflect. Maybe it’s because for that one hour I have any distractions put away (phones, television, even my favorite book) and I’m moving and breathing…and really listening to my own thoughts. Sometimes that alone is a good place to reflect, and other times it might something the teacher has said during class. And I enjoy that introspection. How can I carry that with me?

One way is through journaling. I can revisit those thoughts that came up in class and, in the spirit of January, formulate some goals or even just thoughts ahead for the year. I can then write small, actionable items – let’s say mini-goals – to meet to assist me with my larger goal. In the theme of introspection on my mat, maybe it’s that I want to take class more frequently. From there, I may determine a couple of things to do or research:

  • I can schedule classes in advance and put on my phone’s calendar.
  • I can purchase a class package for a specific number of classes to take by a certain date.
  • Studios may offer series, such as The Mat’s Meet Your Mat series. This offers the opportunity to merge the two above – scheduled classes and a certain number to take that are already scheduled.
  • And if this was the first time I was trying yoga, meeting with my doctor would be a small, actionable goal and a way to see if it’s a good choice for me.

These small goals allow me to check off items – which in and of itself gives me a certain satisfaction – while working towards my larger goal that may take weeks or months.

I mentioned earlier that something a teacher says may strike a chord with me. It may be an anecdote or maybe a quote, and if it came from a book and I forgot the title to by the end of class, I’ll ask my teacher for a reminder so that I can revisit the book on my own. And for me, there have been many times one of my teachers’ introduction to class has really resonated with me. And that’s one of my goals for the upcoming year – how I can I better carry those moments with me? How can I better examine why that story resonated with me?

Something for me to think about the next time I’m on my mat.

This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat yoga studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only. The views and opinions are my own. 


Patricia returned to Texas after spending several years on both coasts. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

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