As we move toward the close of the year, many people are excited for their traditional end-of-the-year ritual to ring out the old and ring in the new.

What kind of New Year’s tradition or ritual, if any, do you have and what meaning does this tradition hold for you? How does it shift the New Year for you?

We recently saw an article about 12 different New Year’s traditions from around the world. We were particularly intrigued by a ritual performed in India designed to shift one’s mindset to greet the New Year.

An effigy of an old man is made – and then burned.

The burning symbolizes the release of grievances and upsets from the past year to make space for a new year to emerge. The more you let go of the negative, the more positive a mindset you bring into the New Year and the more positivity you will experience.

It reminds us of pandiculation: tighten into the tension first in order to release out of it for more awareness, sensation, and over time, freedom.

What if you added a time for somatic reflection to your daily Somatic Movement practice? It may become a new ritual for you.

Try this:

  1. At the end of your final soma scan, take 5 minutes to reflect on a grievance, on-going complaint, or struggle that you went through this past year that you would like to let go of or resolve.
  2. Sense yourself as you contemplate whatever comes to mind. Then pandiculate in whatever way is natural. Contract into your body and your thoughts. Feel it, and slowly release it.
  3. Repeat that as many times as you need to allow it to let go. And then allow your mind to be quiet.
  4. When you’re done slowly get up and take a few minutes to write down what comes up for you. As you move into 2024 how can these moments of reflection create a new beginning for you?