I have to admit that in the past, New Year’s Eve was not always my favorite holiday. In pre-yogic days--and pre-kid days--there were too many parties at which I ate and/or drank a bit too much. After kids, I spent many a New Year’s Eve at home, entertaining “the troops” (my children and their friends, that is). My husband, a classical musician, often works on New Year’s Eve…and so it goes.
But this year my kids are older and off to their own parties, my husband has a gig, and I have plans to attend the Yogic New Year’s Celebration at AquarianYoga Center. There will be dancing, yoga, vegetarian food, mantra, meditation and wonderful company in an alcohol- and tobacco-free environment. If you’re a yogi you also may have plans to spend your New Year’s Eve among yogi-minded friends. After all, what better way to start the New Year than with a healthy, happy pursuit like yoga? (And if you have other plans for New Year’s Eve why not set an intention to get to a yoga class ASAP once the holiday is over?)
Below, I’ve rounded up a few of the yogic happenings in town for either New Year’s Eve or the following day. Enjoy, and have a safe and happy New Year!
- AquarianYoga Center’s doors open at 6 pm on New Year’s Eve for a “Yogic New Year’s Celebration.” Cost is $56 online or at the door (space permitting); $100 for two people. AquarianYoga plans a fun, inspiring, and conscious evening of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, healing gong, dancing, chanting and community for the first Aquarian New Year's. Plus, delicious potluck vegetarian food and drink will be served (and you won’t get a hangover from yummy yogi tea!). Evening highlights include Sacred Chant Concert with Sat Nam Fest artist Harnam Singh & Band and Ramdesh Kaur from Spirit Voyage, Kundalini Yoga for Prosperity and Healing Gong with center founder/director Akalsukh Singh, Kundalini Mantra Dance (this sounds like fun!), Celestial Communication, and more. Breakfast at 7 am after early morning sadhana included for those who want to start the first day of the New Year with a beautiful spiritual practice.
- Welcome the New Year at Asana House with a Mysore session from ten a.m. until noon on New Year’s Day. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re planning to attend (a Led class may also be offered—check with the studio). Ashtanga is an awesome practice that will give you a strong start to a healthy, happy New Year.
- Be Evolution Hot Yoga has a special New Year’s Day workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. with Manorama. “Living in the Blessing” will look into what it means to live in the Blessing and how we can live each day in that light. Every culture offers blessings; in this workshop participants will explore the notion of blessing and its link with Yoga, light, and happiness, Manorama explains. “You will learn how to extend blessings to all around you, not from an egoistic place, but directly from your heart. You will take with you a mantra to practice working with, as well as teaching on Self Knowledge.” Cost is $100 and includes price of materials; register at the studio or email email@example.com. The workshop will not be held in a heated room so dress comfortably for normal room temperature.
- Garden State Yoga is in high gear for the holiday with plans for a great evening. Doors open at 8 pm. Kirtan with Erin is scheduled for 9 pm followed by a power yoga & meditation class from 9:30 to 11 p.m. with co-owners Seth and Ali. Then mingle and eat until 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 per person. Includes champagne toast, non-alcoholic beverages, and light appetizers (bring additional beverages and munchies if you like). Release, restore, and renew! Don’t forget to pre-register.
- At The Karuna Shala on Saturday join studio owner Ivy at 9:30 am for a lovely Ayurvedic Flow class to prepare yourself for the New Year. On New Year’s Day Ivy is offering a New Beginnings Flow class accompanied by live drumming with Icarus! Suggested Donation of $20 will benefit Yogic Chai.
- Lotus Yoga invites you to start the New Year right with a class led by Loryn. This open Vinyasa class will be held from 10 to 11:45 a.m. on January 1. Get those yogic juices flowing!
- Starseed Yoga is open with its regular Saturday schedule on December 31. New Year’s Day stop in for a noon to 1:30 pm class with Jessica Sunshine Klein called “New Beginnings,” a mixed level practice to welcome the New Year and set new intentions. At 2 pm join Jessica for “Meditation with Crystal Bowls.” Sounds like a heavenly way to start 2012.
- Yogadesha’s regular schedule is in effect for the holiday weekend; check the schedule for great classes that will get your New Year off to a fresh start.
- Yoga & Meditation Center of Montclair starts a new series of classes the first week in January. Call or email the center to find out more.
- Yoga Montclair has some exciting New Year’s happenings. In addition to the regular schedule on December 31, from 11:30 a.m to 12:45 pm join Donna and musician Chuck Wood for a very special New Year’s Eve practice: “Live music will infuse this class and guide you deeper into asana.” Register in advance. (All other classes will be held that day.) On New Year’s Day join studio owner Omni for a New Year’s Celebration. “As we turn over into a new year, the time to plant seeds of deep intention is powerful. Through our practice we will stoke our inner desires and bring forward new possibilities.” Well said, Omni! Class is from 9:30 am to 11:15 a.m. (other classes canceled that day).
Check the various studio websites for pre-registration and details. Wishing all you a very happy & peaceful 2012!