Broder: Resolutions for body and soul

Good morning Yalies! Over break, I read that Oprah advises not to make New Year’s resolutions — because they tend to leave you feeling constantly disappointed in yourself. But I’m going to swim against the O-current here: We should resolute-it-up! Strive to be better. There’s no shame in having a few innocuous goals, right?

So, I’ve done some thinking of my own and come up with a golden trifecta of resolution that’s sure to leave us all feeling even luckier than Oprah in 2011. All you have to do is focus on your mind, body and soul.

Resolution number one: Rest your mind and soul. Your mind needs lots of this rest stuff so it can keep making little mind babies: aka thoughts! And your soul needs rest because 20 volumes of that series “Chicken Soup for the (insert adjective) Soul” have laid down the law. So this fine January, try a little silent meditation. What if you’re like me and don’t have a knack for this sort of introspective hullabaloo? Maybe silence makes you feel like you have ants in your pants? Fear not! There are plenty of ways that you can still rest your mind comfortably. Try to plan your first meditation for around the same time as a bad head cold. I can vouch from experience that it works wonders as a transitional tool — I could hear my breath loud and clear throughout! No silence to speak of, but my mind still got that same refreshed, just-out-of-the-shower feeling.

If you think jumping into silent meditation is too much, just dip a toe into it and check out some yoga. New Haven has lots of great sites. Bikram Yoga offers you a chance to sweat your brains out, and its powerfully odorous atmosphere serves as a throwback to the good old days of middle school when stinky perspiration was our jam (thanks, hormones!). And afterward, if you’re short on cash, you can rent out your body as a human slip and slide. But alas, some of us are not massive fans of perspiration, and if you fall in this category, try Fresh Yoga, which plays a head-banging soundtrack of Rihanna and Journey while you salute the sun. Nothing like a nice guitar riff to clear your head! But in all sincerity, taking the time to rest your mind and soul for a moment (or two) each week is a resolution for which even Oprah might be willing to budge.

Second resolution: the bod. I wish I didn’t have to make this a priority of yours, but, well, I do — it’s a superficial world out there. But here’s the good news. I stumbled upon this new method of tummy toning over break called “standing abs” — basically, just shaking it Shakira style! Not to sound like an infomercial, but this is your solution to years of painful crunches that work the same muscles over and over. So blast a little “She Wolf” and get jiggy with it! Once you gain some confidence, take your moves to a suite or crush party and then maybe even the big stage of Toads. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

Next in line for the healthy body: Let’s cop a phrase from Dartmouth (because they’re always feeling so left out) and “go green” when it comes to food. Maybe these health nuts are good for something besides those headbands that go around the middle of your head and make you look like a tied sausage. First tip: If it comes from the ground, it won’t pack on the pounds. It should be noted here that even though partially hydrogenated soybean oil has the word “bean” in it, it does not come from a natural spring in the middle of Yosemite. Stay discerning and health will be yours!

Also, another general word for the wise: Keep up to date with your vaccinations. There’s nothing like going into your annual physical and realizing you need seven shots. Remember, you only have one non-dominant arm and two butt cheeks. Have your physician start with the arm: That way the Snoopy/Spongebob/Spiderman Band-Aids make public appearances before the docs get cheap and switch to the generic brands. You’d think with all this healthcare reform, the big wigs would think of a way to afford Snoopy for all body parts, but no. Way to go, Obama! But back on track, stick to these resolutions and you too will have a creepy chorus following you, like the one in those “I want your body” commercials.

I have confirmed that Oprah Winfrey secretly approves this message, and I believe I’ve set a very reasonable Mt. Everest for us to climb — while also juggling the rest of our responsibilities! Hope you’ll join in the fun: Mind-body-soul, baby!

Maddie Broder is a sophomore in Morse College.

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