Although the new year can provide us with a fresh start to our lives, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the suggestions for how we can "be better:" exercise regimes, health supplements, diet ideas, ways to pamper yourself. Not only can the barrage of new year's suggestions be confusing (should I go vegetarian or paleo? should i do short exercise routines daily or longer ones every other day?), but under their influence, we can forget that our true nature (variously called the witness consciousness, the true Self, or our buddha nature) is already perfect. We don't have to do a damn thing to be better; we could just notice our breath and call it a day.
That said, we humans love the chance to start over, to recreate ourselves for the better. And instead of prescribing more meditation or yoga class (though I would love for you to do both), my suggestion is simple, and perhaps unexpected: Clean something. Anything. You don't have to tackle that storage closet that's been nagging at you; just draw a bath. Give yourself a pedicure. Or, if you're feeling more ambitious - sure, clear away the top of your desk. Toss out your 2014 junk mail. Delete unnecessary emails from your inbox.
Yogis believe that the concept of saucha, or cleanliness, is a fundamental part of the practice. Because one can't observe the subtle changes in the body's energy during a physical yoga practice if they haven't showered in two days; the skin needs to be clean. Various interior-body cleansing practices, such as fasting or restricting one's diet to only vegetables and fruits, contribute hugely to the practice of yoga, since one can fold or twist much more deeply when the insides are empty. Likewise, it's harder to maintain a clear, focused mind with old paperwork lying around everywhere. And, most importantly, a clean environment and a clean self remind us of the spotlessness of our true being.
So as you dash about trying to accomplish all your new year's goals, don't forget to make time to sit in a hot bath. Soak away any leftover negativity from 2014, and clean the way for a truly better new year.