Resolve To Evolve With A Sankalpa
DELVE DEEPER INTO YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Do you feel the pressure to reinvent yourself each New Year? The feeling that this is the year that I will lose those kilos, stop smoking, meditate every day, find my dream job, be more confident, <insert your preference here!>. We can start the new year with a bang and a roar, but gradually life can challenge the resolution we’ve made, and we start to slide down the slippery slope of resistance and guilt. A more positive way to evolve would be to delve deeper into our resolutions, discover what emotionally connects us to living with or without this change, visualise and mentally experience what this change would feel, look, smell, taste and BE like in our lives.
There is a life changing tradition in yoga called the practice of SANKALPA
San = refers to a connection that we make to support our highest truth
Kalpa = means vow, or the rule, to be followed above all other rules
Unlike most New Year resolutions, you start a practice of Sankalpa with the idea that you’re already all that you need to be in order to fulfill your most heartfelt desires. Add a pinch of focus, a dash of connection to your heart and a sprinkle of divine energy to initiate and continue with this resolve. Your Sankalpa becomes a statement that reminds you of your true nature and helps guide your choices.
TWO TYPES OF SANKALPAS
- The first type is more of a heartfelt desire that reflects your true nature and requires no change or action. It’s a statement of who you are, like “I am whole and already healed,” or “I am peace itself.” This resolve comes from deep within us, rather than from our intellectual mind. We create a heart and mind connection to a state we wish to embody by speaking it as truth. It’s kind of like the law of attraction but from a place of remembering who we already are.
- A Sankalpa can also be a more specific intention or goal. Setting a specific Sankalpa can help you align your present moment choices with your heartfelt desire. Look forward into the next year and ask yourself what you need to do and where you need to direct your energy, to make progress with your larger life goals.
“By definition, a Sankalpa should honor the deeper meaning of our life. A Sankalpa speaks to the larger arc of our lives, our dharma – our overriding purpose for being here.” – Rod Stryker –
HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR SANKALPA
Your heartfelt desire is already present, waiting to be seen, heard and felt; you just need to become quiet and listen. Taking some time at the beginning of the year to create a quiet, settled mind, either through meditation or yoga nidra, will help you hear your heart’s message. When you hear this message, be willing to sit with it, feel it, and deeply reflect on it. Discover the willingness to move forward and implement your heart’s desire in your life. The message could start off more ego related – new job, better relationship, losing weight or quitting smoking – but it’s the first step to delving deeper into the wisdom of your heart.
If you hear ‘I want to lose weight’ ask yourself how life will be and how you’ll feel when you lose the weight. When the weight is gone, will you have a greater sense of self-love or freedom? Will it let connect to your loved ones better because you have more energy and vitality? What is the feeling you’re striving for, what is your heart longing for when it points you in this direction?
This could lead your Sankalpa in the direction of something more heartfelt like ‘I lovingly take care of my body and this allows me to energetically connect with my loved ones’. Choose one Sankalpa for a period of time to give full energy and focus to its development.
PLANT YOUR SANKALPA SEED
As you can probably tell from the examples given, a Sankalpa is a short positive statement said silently three times in the present tense. But reciting your Sankalpa randomly isn’t enough to plant this seed, as our intellectual mind can recognise that you don’t have it yet. The quality of our mind will determine if the seed will take root. Creating a calm and tranquil state of mind using meditation or yoga nidra will create the most fertile ground for a Sankalpa practice. Our sense of oneness with ourselves and the universe, that feeling that you are already open, timeless, complete and perfect, a pure being living a human life; this is the fertile ground that will help your Sankalpa grow deep roots in to your subconscious.
Meditation is helpful to reach this state but practicing yoga nidra is the most powerful way to systematically relax the body and mind and guide you into the fertile ground of deep awareness. You are aware and awake, but you experience a kind of separation of the body and mind; a separation of ego and higher self. From this foundation of self, your Sankalpa will blossom!
NOURISH YOUR SANKALPA SEED
After discovering and planting the seed of your Sankalpa, you can begin to nourish the energy required to grow and strengthen your resolve. You do this by realising that every choice you make either supports or undermines your resolve. Even if you forget or choose to ignore your Sankalpa at some point, you can use the memory of these times to further strengthen your heartfelt desire or intention. Go back to that hiccup, recreate the moment, feel how you felt then and then imagine yourself making the choice that aligns with your Sankalpa instead. Breathe deeply into the resistant feeling you experienced, breathe deeply into the feeling of living your Sankalpa, travel back and forth between the feelings, continuously creating a deeper connection to your positive resolve. At no point look at these hiccups as failures, just as a moment of moving away from yourself.
THE BLOSSOMING OF YOUR SANKALPA
Be compassionate with yourself, knowing that life is just a process of remembering how to align ourselves with our true nature. Regularly review your day against your Sankalpa without judgement. Be curious about how synergistic you were with your intention or heart’s desire, or how challenged you were by it and what you could’ve done differently. Every question is a further exploration into understanding yourself. It can be confusing at first to set an intention by declaring you already are it or have it because you’re already perfect and whole. It’s a concept that we are all being and becoming at the same time.
According to Rod Stryker, founder of ParaYoga, “It’s vital for your happiness that you walk both paths simultaneously. Direct your energy with intention but be mindful that your nature is unchanged whether you achieve your goals or not. Live as contentedly as possible in between the goal and realising the goal.”
AMAZING YOGALIGHT MEMBERSHIP OFFER TO SUPPORT YOUR
SANKALPA PRACTICE AND GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY
If you’re already a member, head over to YogaLight and indulge in some of these wonderful classes to get your mind and body ready for a Sankalpa setting session. If you haven’t joined us yet and you know that one of your specific intentions for 2020 is to create a stronger connection between your mind, body and soul, our online class platform is the best way you could achieve this!
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