To clear the path for the New Year, yogis often partake in a ritual called a fire puja. An important part of achieving goals, studies show that performing rituals increases the likelihood of the desired result. A fire puja is a ritual of letting go so that you can make space for your intentions. If we carry our heavy burdens and dramas into the New Year, there isn’t enough space for new intentions. In other words, when we release what doesn’t serve, we clear life’s path for a new direction.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to igniting your own fire puja:

Identify your obstacles

Get clear with what isn’t serving you. Anger? Jealousy? A unfulfilling career? Journaling and meditation are helpful tools to hone in on what needs to be released. Don’t rush this step. Take a few days to honestly examine what you want to leave behind.

Write it down

Once you have decided what obstacles are blocking your path, write them down on separate sheets of paper. Be clear and concise.

Start a fire

Whether you use a fireplace or have a bonfire, safely light a fire. Remember, fire is a sacred element. Treat your fire as such. Honor it’s transformational qualities, and chant the mantra for the deity Agni: Om Agni Devaya Namah.

Burn your burdens

Gather the slips of paper from step two. Read them and one-by-one put them into the fire. Whether you choose to silently read the papers or vocalize them to the Universe, acknowledge what is there and that you are letting it go. With each burden you place in the fire, chant Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha (gone, gone, gone beyond, awake, so be it).

Honor Ganesha

Help clear the path during the ceremony by honoring Ganesha, the Destroyer of Obstacles. Chant the mantra Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha to honor Ganesha and to ask for his help in letting go.

Take time before setting intentions

The fire puja is only the start of letting go. Over the coming weeks and months, you may need to continue the practice of releasing your obstacles through mantra, meditation, and yoga. Once you feel you have fully let go, sit with the new space and observe the intentions that emerge. You may find that your intentions become more meaningful and can truly come to fruition.

What intention-setting rituals do you follow for the New Year? How do you make space for meaningful and attainable intentions? Share your ideas below!