I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season. If you’re like me, it was another quiet one with a lot more downtime than activity. Now we find ourselves with yet another spike in the COVID-19 virus rates thanks to the omicron variant. I hope this hasn’t dampened your focus on setting some goals or intentions for the year. While you cannot control what will happen with the pandemic, you can decide what to do this year to meet some of your own needs or desires.
You may have already made a resolution or two and have a plan on how to bring it to fruition, but maybe you’re still waffling. Why not take the time now to either identify something that you want to work towards this year or how to bring to life the resolution you set.
Working with intentions is very much part of the yoga tradition. Setting an intention, or sankalpa, can be done within the broader framework of the four desires, or purushartha set out in the ancient teachings for humanity known as the Vedas. The four desires are dharma (the desire to become who you are meant to be in this lifetime), artha (the desire for the means necessary to help you fulfill your purpose), kama (the desire for pleasure in any form), and moksha (the desire for spiritual realization). I’ve worked with all of these at some point.
The difference between working with sankalpa and setting is a New Year’s resolution is really the shakti or power behind it. Resolutions function on the level of a wish, whereas a sankalpa includes elements to build energy around its manifestation.
Perhaps you have a resolution already that you really want to work with. It can be your sankapla.
Here’s an example. If you want this to be the year you pay greater attention to physical fitness, I recommend you do more than buy a gym membership and attend a few times with great gusto before settling into previous patterns. From a sankalpa point of view, you create a present-tense statement that captures what it is you want, such as “I am living a healthy life and enjoying the positive results physically, mentally and spiritually.” This is the initial seed that will fuel the succession of your intention.
The next step is to remember and recite the affirming statement often. I recommend reciting it three times at the end of practice or meditation, before nodding off at night and any time during the day when you are turning away from a habit or negative response that you want to let go of. This effort is about building the energy around your intention that will help facilitate its manifestation.
An option that some people like is to make the statement in this way “I can… I will…I must…”. In the previous example, it would read something like this: “I can live a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life. I will live a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life. I must live a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life.”
Both of these formats work. It is really a matter of preference.
Those of you who attend classes with me and have done Yoga Nidra know that Nidra is another avenue to build power/shakti for your sankalpa. From the deep stillness of Nidra, the intention is recited.
The beauty of sankalpa is you are playing an active role in the unfolding of your life. Think of it as being a co-creator in your destiny. It can be easy to get bumped along on life’s pathway and feel like you have little control over your destiny. But you do!
For the coming year, there will be many big changes in my life. I am using sankalpa to help shape how these play out. One of the biggest shifts will be focusing on building my online presence as an anger expert. This starts with offering the Moving Beyond Anger course that launches on January 17.
More of my public communications will focus on my yoga for anger program. I strongly believe there is too much anger in this world and that yoga may provide appropriate tools to reduce anger. As I transition into this new niche I want to assure you that my twice-weekly yoga classes will continue and the archives will grow.
If you or someone you care about could benefit from the seven-week Moving Beyond Anger course, you can find out more here. If you are a member of Loren Crawford Yoga you receive a 20% discount. Please reach out to me for your discount code before registering. You may use your discount to gift the course to someone you know will benefit from it.
I know that 2022 will be a year with more challenges on the public health front, but that need not stop you from setting intentions and planning for the next stages in your life. The act of taking charge of things in your life creates power. Action. Changes. Things. You are a force for change.
Again, if you’ve not set an intention for 2022 or have a soft resolution, I invite you to set aside some time now to reflect on what it is you want to do to build the life you know you deserve.
If you want some help setting your sankalpa, book a 30-minute free consultation to discuss it.
All of the best to you this year!