It's been a bit tricky surrendering to the holiday vibe this year. For most of us in Australia, the air is thick with smoke and the news headlines are deeply pessimistic.
I know I'm supposed to be a good yogi and live the present moment, but as we enter a new decade, I can't help but look forward. What does the future hold for me and my family? For all of us? With so many environmental and political bad news stories, it's hard to stay positive.
One of my Grandfathers favourite sayings was:
"Out of the hottest fires comes the strongest steel."
With global warming and the bushfires raging around us, we've certainly got the heat. But steel? I'm not sure I want to be 'steely', so I asked Quora about it. Here's what people said about the properties of steel:
- For the same stress, steel gives less strain.
- High strength to weight ratio
- Tensile Strength
- Ductility (the opposite of brittle)
My favourite one was:
- Has highest scrap value
I definitely want to be steel.
Forged in fire
Fire is an important part of yoga. The third Niyama is Tapas - the purifying inner fire. This is the flame that burns up the obstacles in our path and purification by fire is a staple in spiritual traditions.
The trick is not to buckle under the stress of the heat but, like steel, stay flexible. Yoga does flexibility. And strength.
2019 was tumultuous. The geopolitical stuff was difficult enough, then I went and started another Master's degree and walked away from a business I'd run for 17 years. Tough. But I'm ready for 2020.
I haven't set a new years resolution, but I have recommitted to the philosophy that drives me forward every day.
What can I learn?
How can I help?
Those two questions keep me curious, optimistic and engaged. They pick me up when things don't work out, motivate me when the things I can't control seem insurmountable, calm me down when life gets overwhelming.
I guess that's my resolution for 2020 right there. My Tapas.
I wish you and your family the very best in the coming year - 2020 is the start of a decade of new possibilities. If you have been affected by the bushfires in Australia, I send you love, hope and solidarity. Reach out when you need help.
Happy new year, everyone.
PS. Need a quick break? Try this:
Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.