New Year, New Tradition


In China, they stroll down the streets with golden lanterns. In Northern India, they wear garlands of flowers. In Spain, they eat 12 grapes and the stroke of midnight. But in the United States, New Year's celebrants often wind up drinking too much and making bleary-eyed resolutions that will be forgotten by the time they awake the next day.

What to do if you want to ring in the New Year in a healthy way and have fun too? Many yogis are starting new traditions. At the Laughing Lotus studio in Manhattan, they'll stretch until the clock strikes 12, then hang out for tarot readings, dancing, and tea; at Mount Madonna Center in the Santa Cruz mountains, they'll perform comic versions of yogic plays, as part of a four-day retreat. A more austere group at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville, in Buckingham, Virginia, will meditate past midnight, ending a weeklong silent retreat with prayers for world peace. If there isn't a studio or retreat center near you, you can still party like a yogi-just gather some friends and chant, sit, or strike poses. These days, there's no excuse for not feeling rejuvenated on New Year's Day.