POINTS TO PONDER NYC's self-described "spiritual gangster," Homegirl Yoga's (homegirlyoga.com) Halle Becker— a yoga and SoulCycle instructor with a rock-and-roll spirit who was the featured teacher at Lululemon Athletica's 2013 World Leadership Conference—offers a few thoughts to carry you into the new year. A Friend of mine ran by me the other day, practically knocking me over as she screamed over her shoulder, "I'm so stressed—I couldn't find a place to park and I'm late for yoga!" In this city, there's so much to feel joyous or devastated about on any given day. One of my favorite sayings is, "If you want enlightenment, then lighten up!"—and that's what I'm here to help people do. After the holiday season, there's a different kind of energy running through my yoga and SoulCycle classes. Everyone's focusing too much on the future ("This year I'm going to...") or the past ("I didn't accomplish this or that"; "I'm still 10 pounds overweight") and not enough on the right here and right now—the most important place. That's where truth lives and mental shifts can happen. I think people gravitate to my classes because I've gone though a lot to get where I am, so I can relate to their struggles. I'm like the cool babysitter who lets you be who you really are when you're in my care, judging no one and welcoming all. I want to help you find your way as I'm finding mine. I want you to learn that you'll find the tools for spiritual healing within yourself.Unfortunately, though, "within ourselves" tends to be the last place we look. So to help you start that process, I offer a few key questions: 1. What is it too late for? 2. What is it too early for? 3. What is it just the right time for? If you're brave enough to ponder these queries, you'll be amazed at what you'll realize—and the new year can be truly a new start for you. Now that you've done a spiritual inventory, it's time to rethink your physical practice. Only doing yoga?Or spinning seven days a week? Your body gets used to the same exercise routine, so think about changing up the game a bit—it's better to shock your body with a mashup of this city's fabulous physical offerings instead of doing the same workout every day. Just as your mind needs to be stimulated with new information, your body needs changes of pace too. Most importantly, breathe, my dear friends.The perfect place of peace is right between the inhale and the exhale. Happy New Year, and see you on the mat or bike!
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