I made a resolution to start the Subtle Yoga blog in 2008. Today is a good, snowy day out there – a fine day to get started. New Year’s of course, is the time for resolutions. Most people have just been bombarded with eggnog, Christmas cookies and “challenging” familial encounters – then you have 3 more months of dismal weather to look forward to – of course we make resolutions! Some research done recently in California shows that if you make a formalized vow with your resolution, you are more likely to keep it. Yogis aren’t surprised, they have been formalizing vows for millennia. Vows are a way to put it all in perspective – the instant gratification vs. the long-term benefits. You can be swamped by the culture of excess, but your center will remain unperturbed in the power of the vow. So think about that: whether you want to meditate daily, lose weight, or quit smoking – why not formalize it? Get some friends together, light a candle, sing a song, chant a chant, pass a talking stick, say a prayer, read a poem, or meditate together and then pronounce your vows. Make the language positive. Instead of “I will quit smoking” try “I will breathe clean air. I will take care of my body because I deserve to be healthy, strong and happy.” I am hoping we can have a formalized vow session this month at the Women’s Satsaunga gathering at the Asheville Quest Center (January 25 from 7-9 pm). Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll make sure it happens!