This period of the year is usually where we take some time to reflect upon what has taken place in the preceding 12 months of the year.
In fact we also relate as to the type of relationship we had with situations and people. The quality of relationship to anything at all is dependent upon awareness and especially of oneself. Relationships can function as a mirror, enabling us to understand and be conscious of things not only in the outside world, but in our innermost self. Relationships can also awaken fears, anger or insecurity depending on our state of mind. In this way we can become conscious of our strengths, weaknesses or ambitions and our needs towards ourselves and towards others.
Perhaps we make a resolve to make sure something changes, improvements or take action to prevent something, or to avow that the next time we will deal with the situation or the person in a better way. This conforms to the yogic way of living life, as we all know that it will make others and ourselves more contented.
Observation of ones strengths, weaknesses, ambitions and needs and the making of a resolution can be done throughout the whole year. In the tantric practice of Yoga Nidra, one is asked to formulate a short, positive resolve based upon what one wishes to evolve or change in your life or personality. This is then repeated three times, mentally at the beginning and at the end of yoga nidra practice, to root the resolution deep into the depths of the subconscious mind.
In time this begins to become a reality in your life. Resolutions can de short term or long term, yet they must be repeated each time in the same language, with the same words and sentence structure. The action of thinking about what we might want to change and how we want to evolve leads to many insights into who we are and what we want from ourselves and the life we are living.
In this way our consciousness is expanded. In the same way when we make a list of our strengths, weaknesses, ambitions and the needs to fulfil these, there is a deepening of awareness and we become conscious of things we unconscious of before. This yogic practice is called the S.W.A.N Meditation. It can be done using a diary each day, or each week or once a year. And it can be centred around yourself, on a relationship or on a situation.
The quality and depth of relationship with yourself in turn transforms the relationships you have with the outside world. The internal state of mind is radiated outwards, just as that of others radiates towards you.
"Yoga is a science of consciousness, a science of personality and a science of creativity. Unfortunately Yoga is still thought about mainly in terms of physical postures. Until now scientists have concentrated on understanding the object, and this reflected the emphasis on the material existence in which we exist. Yet now scientists are trying to understand the subject of things, rather than only the object. Scientists now claim that the consciousness of the observer in perceiving something, alters the nature of the perception and the object which influences the experiment. Thus the consciousness is the most important factor. Yogic practices develop and expand that consciousness in such way that object of the experiment is not influenced." ≈ Swami Satyananda, Yoga Magazine Oktober 2013
The mind is a form of consciousness, yet it is conditioned and impure. And it is with this impure mind that we struggle to understand things which are both pure and beyond the minds limits, such as mantra. Thousands of years ago Buddha stated that the form of the body was a reflection of the mind. So yoga is really concerned with awakening deeper and higher consciousness and purifying the mind of illusions and negativity. And in this process our relationship with ourselves, with others and the way we view the world around us is transformed, improved and evolved.