I hope everyone had a great festive season! Sharing moments with dear ones… the festivities in December bring a sense of excitement, celebration, indulgence and overall, a sense of just letting go and have fun!
And 2015 is here!, sooner that we thought, arriving full of possibilities, representing a blank canvas eagerly waiting to be infused with colour. The beginning of the year offers a really good opportunity to re-set our goals, taking a moment to reflect the direction we would like to take, so we can take the right steps towards fulfilling our dreams, although, this can (and should) be done at anytime of the year, January is a perfect time to make a commitment.
So, here we are, setting up New Year resolutions (YAY!), but here is the twist, the Yoga tradition offers an opportunity to take a different approach, setting a Sankalpa (Sanskrit for Purpose, Will, determination). Sankalpa is equivalent to setting an intention, but one that is deeply aligned with your life purpose, and therefore goes a level deeper than a simple resolution that stops at the ego/physical level of your body, which might reinforce the mistaken belief that your happiness depends on acquiring what you want (Kelli Mc, Yoga international), Sankalpa touches the mind and connects it you’re your body, seeking to understand what is what drives the need or the motivation behind a desired heartfelt change that will be felt by your body, Sankalpa is a vow of commitment to achieve, starting from the radical premise that you are who you need to be to fulfil your life’s purpose, all you need to do is focus your mind, connect with your most heartfelt desires and channel the energy within.
How do you find a sankalpa?
You look inward: meditation, yoga, and particularly Yoga Nidra can provide some help, but first, you must have the interest to get an understanding of what is driving the need to deliver a change, why you have a heartfelt desire to gain/do something.
How does a Sankalpa look like?
Catherine G (Yoga journal) explains that a resolution often zeros on a perceived negative aspect of us, and capitalizes on the thought of us not feeling “complete”, or “good enough”, for example: I want to lose 1 stone (message to self: You’re fat), Stop drinking wine/coffee (You’re unhealthy), call mum and dad once a week (you’re ungrateful), Sankalpa explores what is behind the thought or feeling to lose weight: I crave sugar, or comfort food when I am sad or stressed, so the intention is set to become conscious of this craving and allow feelings to arise and pass, rather than distracting on comfort food indulgence.
Once a Sankalpa has been set, there are three actions that follow: Tremendous will and energy –Iccha-, action – Kriya - and Wisdom to deliver the action -Jnana - (Kelli Mc, Yoga international)- think about it, if you really are looking to fulfil a well understood deeply entrenched need, then committing to it, and fulfilling the goal becomes easier.
The core practice of Sankalpa is remembering, so use something symbolic that you can remember!
Inner Power Yoga will be running a New Year Yoga workshop at the Yoga station on Dec 4th which will centre on re-invigorating the body through 1 hr intense Yoga practice (including plenty of detox twists), followed by 30 min of balancing, grounding postures to help the body and mind to focus, closing the physical practice with Yoga nidra and a guided meditation to open space for a Sankalpa to be revealed. A candle will be given to each participant so that sankalpa can be remembered through the year.
The workshop will also have an element of detox / rebalancing the body using juices & other diet elements, which will be covered by Duika Burges. (Website event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/579266245508368/ )
Thank you for reading
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.