Here we are at the start of another year, and the sun is just beginning to return. We have a few more weeks of cold and dark weather yet to come, so early January is not the best time to sweat out a whole year’s worth of good intentions. Most likely, you’ll come down with a virus, succumb to the lure of chocolate instead of salad and give it all up for another year.
Let’s do things a little differently, and work with the natural rhythms inside and outside our selves. January is a great time for small, sustainable, nourishing changes. Pick one small, good habit to make or one bad one to replace – swap your evening snacks for a popcorn maker or go for a brisk walk once a week. Make sure it’s not something that will take hours out of your life just yet. As for food: think of hearty soups, stews and roasted vegetables to keep your digestion warm and your belly comforted. Stay away from too much raw food just yet.
And if you’re really determined to change something big this year, great! You have all January to prepare for it. The most traditional time for a strong new discipline is early Spring, when the light is high and bright, and the soil is full of bright green, early shoots. What are known as the ‘bitter greens’ of late January and early February are the perfect antidotes to the heavy, preserved foods of deep Winter. Think of chicory and dandelion, spring greens and kale, sautéed up with a poached egg on whole grains. Lovely! That’s also the best time of year to make a commitment to going back to college or learning a skill or training for an event later in the year. Or just commit to spending more time with your loved ones doing something you all love to do.
Of course, however you choose to start 2015, your local yoga class will be waiting with a little peace, plenty of smiles and a lot of understanding. Take a good stretch and a deeper breath, and there’s a chance of hearing your heart’s deepest desire whisper to you.