Forget about Resolutions! Set an Intention for the New Year

So you’ve made your New Year’s resolution, maybe even more than one. If you’re like me, you make the same ones every year. Personally, I feel like a failure every year when I inevitably break my resolutions. Those last 10 pounds? Still here. Giving up sweets? Refer to the previous sentence about those last 10 (okay, 15) pounds. My resolution not to lose my temper and raise my voice with my children? I have teenagers — need I say more?

So, this year, I have decided not to make any resolutions at all. Wow, it felt great just writing that! In fact, it’s not my fault, or yours, if you cannot keep your resolutions. The word itself is hard and uncompromising. Resolution, resolute, resolve. Problem solved, game over. Last time I checked I was human (although barely so before my morning coffee) and I am a work in progress.

In the philosophy of yoga there are 10 “commandments” that all yogis should strive to live by, 5 yamas and 5 niyamas. One of my favorite yamas is ahimsa, simply defined as practicing non-violence. Ahimsa is why many yoga practitioners are also vegetarians. Ahimsa also means practicing kindness towards all living things, including yourself. You know what I
mean, that voice in your head? The one that has plenty of negative things to say about you? Turn it off, and try practicing ahimsa. A little trick I use sometimes is to imagine myself at a younger age — a toddler or even a teenager. Would I talk to my younger self that way? When I look back at my younger self all I feel is compassion. I want to give myself a hug and say everything’s going to be okay. I was learning and growing and making lots of mistakes. And the truth is, at almost 42 years old, I am still learning and growing and making mistakes. I am the same person inside. So I practice ahimsa and try to treat myself kindly and with compassion.

So forget about resolutions and set an intention instead. Intentions are like a kinder, gentler resolution. This year I don’t resolve to give up sweets and lose those last 10 (okay, 15) pounds, and I know although I love my teenagers dearly, my patience will be tested and I will raise my voice. My intention this year is to cultivate a regular meditation practice at home. Meditation will help me to be more mindful and being more mindful means I will be more likely to pay attention to what I eat, why I eat and how different foods affect me. It will also help me to be more aware of when I’m reaching my boiling point with the kids and I will be able to take a few breaths and calm down. I am sure I will stray, but luckily an intention is something you can come back to again and again. As sure as February brings unused gym memberships and all the chocolate you can eat by Valentine’s Day, you will
stray from your intentions for the new year. But what a difference from breaking that resolution! With compassion and kindness, you can return to your intention. You will learn and grow and make mistakes along the way.

After all, you are a work in progress.


Invitation and January News

Dear Yogis and Yoginis,

As we let go of 2010 and welcome the New Year, take a moment to write down all your achievements in the past year, big and small, and really appreciate your wins; take the time to celebrate them. Then ask yourself some questions:

  • What did you learn in the past year that will help you make 2011 your best year ever?
  • What will your top five values and your top five goals be in the coming year?
  • What steps do you need to take in order to reach your goals and live authentically according to your values?
  • Where do you want to be and what will your life look like by 12/31/11?

Last week my good friend, Melody, a fellow yoga teacher, and I spent the afternoon creating our vision boards for 2011. This was our first time doing it, and I know Melody and I have found a year-end ritual! I love my vision board with uneven edges and all! It is prominently displayed in my working area at home where I can look at it every day to stay motivated and inspired. I would encourage you to give it a try! There are several different ways of creating a vision board, and there is no right or wrong! It will be YOURS, custom made just for you!

We would like to invite you for our First Anniversary Party on January 8, Saturday starting at 4 pm. IPY opened its doors a year ago, and we are so grateful for your support, dedication and commitment to our growing community. During our first year, we have hosted several wonderful master teachers and workshops; started our RYT 200 Teacher Training program with the best group of future teachers; participated in health fairs in the community; offered Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Dharma, Kids yoga in addition to free and donation based classes.

We can't wait to see what 2011 will bring and hope you will be part of it, too!


Ursula and the IPY teachers

One Year Anniversary Celebration

Its hard to believe that Inner Power Yoga in Potomac Falls is almost one year old. Please mark your calendars and join us on January 8, Saturday at 4 pm to celebrate our growing community. We will have light refreshments, but if you would like to bring a dish to share, we would thank you.

Hope to see you there!

Because of the party, the 4p Ashtanga class will be canceled that day.

Kids Yoga

Our next 8 week session will start in January. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot by emailing Ursula or calling the studio at 703-795-8400.

1/4 – 2/22, Tuesdays from 4:15-5:15 pm (6-9 years old) $96
1/13 – 3/3, Thursdays from 4:15-5:15 pm (10-13 years old) $96

School Teachers Yoga

We are pleased to offer a 6 week session geared to the wonderful school teachers in the community. The class will be a gentle flow in the middle of the week, suitable for beginners. This session is our way to say thank you to all the people who are educating the next generation. Please email Ursula to register for this session.

1/12 – 2/16, Wednesdays from 4:15-5:15 pm $60

January Sale

Three months unlimited yoga and one private yoga session for $320 ($85 savings)


Yoga & Community by Christa Maurer

I have been practicing yoga for about 13 years. Yoga’s meaning to me and my life has changed over those years, but one thing has remained the same. For me, walking into a yoga studio has always meant finding a community.

I began by taking a prenatal yoga class when I was just 27 years old. When I was younger and expecting my first child, I first turned to yoga as a way to help with my labor and delivery. I signed up for a prenatal yoga class to supplement our birthing classes and that got me in the door of a yoga studio, and that changed my life.

I think I was extremely lucky because the first studio where I began to practice and understand yoga was a warm and welcoming place. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and there were all sorts of different classes to choose from. I met many good people at the studio and made a couple of really close friends, other women in my prenatal yoga class. When I decided to stay home with my baby, I and some other new moms from the studio formed a mother’s group. We practiced yoga together, had “playdates” with the babies and even the occasional moms’ night out. I loved being around other like-minded people and the sense of belonging that I felt.

Our family moved in 2001 and it was a very difficult move for me. I missed my friends and family. I felt lost. My daughter was just beginning school, but I was not familiar with the other parents yet. I really missed my old yoga studio and the regular practice. After settling into our new home, I found my next yoga “home.” This new studio was different, solely an Ashtanga studio. It attracted a completely different type of practitioner. Rather than other moms, I was able to meet and connect with all different types of yogis and yoginis – some like me and some not. The one thing we had in common was a love of yoga. A friend of mine once said something to me that I’ll never forget. She said that we all meet and become friends with certain people at particular times in our lives for a reason. The friendships I made at the Ashtanga studio came about at a time when I was ready to really deepen my practice and start to study yoga beyond the physical postures. Again, I had found the community I needed.

Our family moved again in 2005 to Northern Virginia. This time the move was most difficult for my kids. I was thrilled to be living near a big city again. I figured I would have no problem finding an Ashtanga studio. Settling the kids into their new home and new school took a lot longer and was way more stressful than I expected. The first thing I let go of was my yoga practice. Out of guilt over the move, I threw all my energies into helping the kids adjust. I volunteered for every single party and field trip at their school. I was class mother for 5 years. I baked, crafted, chaperoned, organized and carpooled. All the while, knew I wanted to get back to my practice so I started to search for my new yoga community. In my search I tried different studios and took classes from different teachers. I was able to meet and take classes with Ursula before she opened her own studio. And although Ursula did not have a “bricks and mortar” studio until about a year ago, she certainly had already created a community of dedicated and loyal students. The Inner Power Yoga studio itself is simply a physical manifestation of the community – can I say family? – that continues to grow and thrive. IPY is my yoga home away from home, a place where I have met so many wonderful people, made good friends, found support, gained knowledge and, of course, actually practiced yoga! We are all blessed to belong to the IPY community.