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Inner Reflection and Embracing the End of Year

As the year draws to a close, we find ourselves at a natural juncture for reflection, gratitude and intention setting. The hustle and bustle of the festive season often overshadows this opportunity for self-examination. But it’s beneficial to take time to pause, reflect and assess our progress. We will delve into inner reflection and embracing the end of the year.

Yoga, and the connection it brings between mind and body, can be a powerful tool for navigating this process of reflection and renewal. This process doesn’t need to be logical or analytical. It can instead draw from within, connecting to the parts of ourselves that will help guide us into the new year in a way we desire.

Embrace the Power of Reflection

Yoga is a journey of self-discovery, and the end of the year provides an ideal opportunity to pause and reflect on the past year. Dedicate time to journaling, meditation, or simply sitting quietly and observing your thoughts and emotions. 

Take an honest assessment of the past year. Acknowledge the accomplishments you’ve made, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the lessons you’ve learned. Take note of what worked and what didn’t, whether you did all the things you set out to achieve at the start of the year and what the year bought for you in general. If you feel that you are holding on to any resentments, hurts and regrets from the past year, write them down on pieces of paper, then burn them. As you do so, affirm that you are willing to let go. Symbolically feel the cleansing effect of the fire, releasing all these things from your life.

This process of mindful introspection will help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world. Just like nature we all have periods of darkness in our lives. However, these can be the times we really learn from. Reflect on your most painful experiences and what they have taught you. Often, they bring you the most insight, awareness, lessons and growth.


  1. In one word, how would you sum up 2023 so far?
  1. Looking back over this year, what challenges have you faced and overcome and how have you grown through them? 
  1. When you look back at the year as a whole, what feelings do you have?
  1. Of the feelings that arise, which do you want to leave behind?
  1. Of the feelings that arise , which do you want to invite more of into the next year? personally, professionally, and otherwise? Think of this as a space to be general or specific.

Gratitude and the Spark of Positivity

As you reflect on the past year, take some time to express gratitude for the blessings in your life. Whether it’s your health, loved ones, or the simple pleasures of life, acknowledging the good things will shift your focus away from what you lack and towards a more positive outlook. Cultivate a sense of gratitude by writing a gratitude list, practising yoga poses that promote emotional well-being, or engaging in acts of kindness.

Yoga teaches us to appreciate the present moment and the blessings we have in our lives. As we reflect on the past year, it’s helpful to take time to cultivate gratitude for the positive experiences, accomplishments, and relationships we’ve encountered. Practising gratitude can shift our perspective from scarcity to abundance, fostering positivity and resilience.

  • Gratitude is a wonderful way to improve our overall health and well-being. List 10 things that you are grateful for in this moment (if you can, try this 3-4 times a week).

Setting Intentions and Planting Seeds for the Future

Yoga encourages us to take conscious steps toward creating the life we desire, to set goals and intentions for our personal and spiritual growth. As you prepare for the new year, set intentions that align with your values and aspirations. As we reflect on the past year, we can identify areas where we want to improve, set specific goals, and align our intentions with our values. This reflection can help us to make conscious choices that align with our long-term aspirations. Remember that we can refresh or set new intentions at any time not only at new year.

There can feel a pressure to make big changes suddenly and set unrealistic resolutions at this time. This isn’t always for our highest good. If you don’t rest, nourish, nurture and gather to you all that you need now, you won’t have the energy that you need to grow into all you can be when it’s time. Look at nature. Very little seems to be happening in nature right now but beneath the earth, vast systems of roots are gathering nutrients so that there will be enough energy for growth and transformation in Spring. And we are the same, we are nature. This is a time to prepare for the year ahead by gathering our inner resources, taking rest and starting to sow the seeds.

Pause and honour where you are

  1. How are you feeling in this present moment? Boldly name any emotions that are arising, no matter what they are. Consider why they might be coming up for you.
  1. What activities help to anchor you in the present moment?
  1. What practices do you think benefit your overall wellbeing most? How often do you allow yourself for these?
  1. What is one thing you can commit to today that your future self will thank you for?
  1. When are you most authentic and how can you encourage your authenticity to shine more?

Cultivate Mindfulness

Yoga is rooted in mindfulness, the practice of bringing our attention to the present moment without judgment. This can be particularly beneficial during the end-of-year reflection process. It helps us to focus on our experiences, both positive and negative, without getting caught up in emotions or regrets. Mindfulness techniques like meditation and mindful breathing can help us to quieten the mind, observe our thoughts and feelings without attachment, and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our experiences.

Honour Our Bodies

Yoga is a holistic practice that values our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As we reflect on the past year, we can consider how our lifestyle choices have impacted our physical health and energy levels. Yoga can help us to cultivate a healthy relationship with our bodies, promoting self-care and respect for our physical limitations.

What part of yourself ( physical or personality) longs for more self-compassion? What words can I speak to this part of myself to show that I love and care for it?

Write down what you have to offer the world: all the ways in which you shine and light up the lives of those around you, and how you can allow yourself to shine more and share more of your unique light out into the world.

Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability

Yoga teaches us to be flexible and adaptable in our approach to life. As we move through the seasons, challenges, and changes that life presents, we can draw inspiration from the concept of vinyasa meaning ‘placement with awareness’ as well as a term used to describe a yogic flow that emphasises the transitions between postures. This fluidity can help us to navigate the uncertainties of life with grace, resilience and a sense of surrender to what we cannot control.

Seek Support and Community

Yoga is often practised in community, providing a supportive and encouraging environment for personal growth. As we reflect on the past year, we can identify the people who have been our anchors of support and gratitude. Connecting with them can provide strength and motivation as we set intentions for the year ahead.

A Journey of Continuous Renewal

Yoga teaches us to honour the process of growth and transformation. As we reflect on the past year, we can acknowledge the challenges we’ve faced, the lessons we’ve learned, and the progress we’ve made. This celebration of the journey can instil a sense of accomplishment and fuel our enthusiasm for the year to come.

Yoga is a lifelong practice that provides a path to self-discovery, personal growth, and inner peace. As you navigate the New Year’s journey, incorporate yoga’s principles of mindfulness, gratitude, and intention setting to cultivate a positive outlook, enhance your well-being, and set the stage for a fulfilling and enriching year ahead. Remember, yoga ( and life) is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the process, celebrate your progress and how far you’ve come, and never stop learning and growing. 

For more information on all things yoga please get in touch or click here to practise with me.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year.

With love

Anney x