I decided a long time ago that I was done with New Year’s resolutions.


Because they never worked.

I used to set all the big ones - to exercise more, to eat healthier, to attract healthy love, to spend more time outside......

Every time, New Year’s Day would come and go, with all of it’s excitement and promises of new beginnings, and I’d slip right back into being my old, comfortable self.

It turns out I’m not alone.

42% of people make at least one new year’s resolution, and only 8% of them keep it.

If you’ve ever wondered WHY this happens and how we can flip this paradigm on its head, then keep reading!

Why it's so hard to change

Experts in the field of neuroscience say that by the time you are 35, you essentially have a subconscious computer program that runs you.

It's made up of your most deeply ingrained thoughts, emotions, beliefs, reactions and behaviors.

You are largely functioning on auto-pilot.

In Yoga, this is called your Ahankara. Ahankara is your sense of self. You build it by gathering information from the world around you, from what people tell you about yourself, and from your successes and failures in life.

It becomes so rock solid by the time you’re an adult that trying to change it is like moving mountains.

Your automated computer program dictates the decisions you make, the behaviors you engage in, and how you feel about yourself and the world around you.

Neuroscientiest Joe Dispensa says that this automated computer program, or your Ahankara, makes up 95% of who you are.

So take a moment and do the math. If 95% of who you are is locked down, that leaves FIVE percent of who you are that is still malleable.

When the new year rolls around, you may have the VERY BEST INTENTIONS in your heart when you take stock and think about this time of renewal and how you want to seize the opportunity to grow, to make a change, to better yourself.

Setting that intention, feeling the possibility and believing in yourself, is so beautiful and powerful.

But that poor little 5% goes up against the super fortified 95% that is so locked down and so practiced at what it does, it is almost always a losing battle!

Here is the hope

There is extremely good news in all of this -- It's actually really easy to completely re-program your automated computer system.

By easy, I don’t mean it doesn’t take work. It requires commitment and effort. By easy, I mean it's extremely accessible to absolutely everyone.

How it works

I want to share an awesome research project with you to show you how this works.

A harvard scientist brought in a group of volunteers and had them practice an exercise on the piano for two hours every day.

After one week of practice, the area of the brain devoted to their piano exercise had grown significantly. New neural connections had formed. They had altered the structure of their brain through the repetition of their practice - after just one week.

The researcher brought in a second group. They didn’t touch the piano. They didn’t even move their fingers.

They simply imagined how their hands would move if they were actually practicing the piano exercise.

Amazingly, the second group had the same growth in their brains as the first group -- meaning the mental training alone physically changed the structure of the brain!!!

What this means for you

You can easily re-program your subconscious computer system. All it takes is consistency and commitment.

If you want to be more healthy and active, meditate every day by visualizing yourself already being that healthy and active person.

What does she look like? What behaviors does she engage in? How did she act? How does she think? What does she wear? What does she eat? How does she feel?

To make it most effective, don’t get up from your meditation until you feel like that person.

Repetition is the key!

If you do this once in a while, it won’t have the effect you need to make a lasting change. But if you do it every day, you will re-wire your brain to be the person you want to be.

If you remain committed, your body and your life will catch up.

So, please please please if you’ve made new year’s resolutions, add this piece to the actions you’re taking to make them a reality.

Now, leave a comment below to share your resolutions and how you plan to make them stick!

I believe in you!




That is my intention for 2016: To be fearless.

I admit that I'm taking some creative liberties with this word. I don't literally mean to be without fear. That is impossible for any human being. Fear is unavoidable and even essential to our existence.

What I mean by fearless is to not be controlled by fear, to not be held back by fear, to not be owned by fear, to not allow fear to keep me small. By being fearless, I mean that I want to allow fear to be there and to keep moving forward anyway.

Right now, I am mothering an infant and a four-year-old. I am figuring out how to maintain my top priority of raising my babies, while working hard at growing my work passions—my jewelry business, my yoga teaching, my book, my work at Kripalu.  There is tremendous fear around how all of this will come together.

How will I have enough time for everything? Will I be able to make enough money to meet our family's needs and goals? How will I take care of myself? Or will I lose myself in the mix? How will I do it all? What if I fail at something, or everything? How will I truly be present for my children with all of this going on? And what about my husband? When will we have time to nurture our marriage, which is at the center of all things that matter in my life?

I don't want to deny these fears or minimize them. It creates inner conflict and turmoil when I turn away from an inner experience that is true and real.

At the same time, I do not want these fears to limit me.


The truth is, I no longer have the luxury of being owned by my fears. In my twenties, if something made me too uncomfortable, I could easily go the other way. But I know, in my heart of hearts, that this approach no longer serves me. I have talents and capabilities waiting for me to tap into more deeply. There are possibilities that require me to be with my fear and consciously move through it. I owe this to my children, to my husband, to my clients, and, most of all, I owe it to myself.

Fearless, to me, is the presence of fear—minus its grip on me.

How will I do this?

By allowing. When fear rises up, I will notice it and soften around it. I'll use Dirgha breath to remain open, and I will allow the fear to flow through me. When I allow, it moves through me more quickly. I can move past it and on to something else, and I can ultimately be less in its grasp, feeling more freedom on all levels. (Want to practice Dirgha with me now? Here's my free download.)

By witnessing. As I allow the fear to flow, I will practice witnessing it. I'll return to a place within me that is steady and calm, even amidst turmoil. From there, I will watch the fear, without naming it as good or bad. When I witness my fear without judging it or needing to change it, it begins to lose its charge and its power. Sometimes, a particular fear completely fades away. (Read more about witnessing in my earlier post.)

By using my tools: yoga, gratitude, meditation, mindfulness, and social support. I feel busier than ever these days, so it's easy to let my practices fall to the background. Yet, it's in this time of juggling so many important responsibilities that I need my tools the most. (Whoops, be right back—my baby, Tayo, is waking up from his nap.) Now, back to my practices ...

  • Yoga helps me to be more present, both professionally and personally, with what is in front of me throughout the day. It helps me more fully experience a new sound that Tayo makes or a hug from Kai. When I work, I am more effective, because I am focused.

  • Gratitude practice helps me focus on what is working well, which gives me energy and inspiration to keep moving forward.

  • Mindfulness keeps me out of overwhelm. When I am aware of what’s happening in a given moment, I am less likely to spiral into fear and paralysis. And, again, I am more likely to absorb the sweet moments of bliss, joy, and connection.

  • Social support gives me strength, as I am reminded that I am not in this alone.

By drinking chai tea: I've been to a few nutrition talks; I know that caffeine isn't good for my adrenal system. But I love my chai tea each morning. Caffeine is a mood elevator, and that little boost helps me stay in a positive, productive mode rather than a worried, anxious mode. I drink my tea, I carpe diem, and that's that.

Some days, I will stumble a lot with all of this, and, on other days, I will soar. On all days, I will work to remain committed to my intention: to be fearless.

I love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and tell me: What is your intention for 2016? And how will you work to realize it?

With love and gratitude,

Allison Signature 2 Smaller



Now available! My new book, in collaboration with Yoganand Michael Carroll, Pranayama: A Path to Healing and Freedom.