This time of the year many of us find ourselves busy trying to keep New Years Resolutions!!!
I feel New Year Resolutions can be a little negative towards ourselves, Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions are ” I must loose 10 pounds” we are telling ourselves we are fat! Or “I must stop drinking coffee”, “I must give up smoking” we are telling ourselves we are unhealthy or “I must ring my friends more” I am a bad friend etc. Nearly all resolutions start with “I must” or ” I will” and are negative.
So why not switch our mindset to look at our resolution in a more encouraging way and draw in a positive intention. In Yoga we call this positive intention our Sankalpa. Sankalpa translates as will, purpose or determination.
With our Sankalpa we allow ourselves the opportunity to look deeper, to question and explore why do you want to loose 10 pounds why are we craving sugary food. Or maybe to relook at the balance in our lives so as allow ourselves more time to spend it with friends etc.
When setting your Sankalpa:
Take your time – look inwards
Don’t rush it, take your time to mull over what your intention could be. Look at the goal orientated resolutions and how these could be turned into something more enjoyable and more positive. Ask yourself how would you like to feel this year.
Your Sankalpa should be in the 1. present tense and 2. positive. When you have settled on a Sankalpa take a few days to think it over. How does it make you feel. If it makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed maybe relook at it or rephrase It.
Your Sankalpa is a very personal thing, it truly comes from your own heart. There of course is no right or wrong Sankalpa its what feels right for you.
These are some simple examples to give you ideas: “I am feeling very calm and present” “I am feeling happier every day” “I am becoming more and more confident” “I am/feel: (any of the below):
Looking at the New Year Resolutions we mentioned above, Sankalpa alternatives could be “I live a healthy, energised life” or “I am healthy, I can breath fully and deeply”
A beautiful Sankalpa from the inspiring Uma Dinsmore Tulli is “With great respect and love I honor my heart my inner teacher”. If you are pregnant, a nice Sankalpa maybe: “I have everything I need to birth my baby” and “My every breath nourishes my baby”
How to use your Sankalpa
Your Sankalpa can become your daily Mantra, you can say it to yourself first thing when you wake in the morning, last thing before you go to bed. During your yoga practice is a great time. Many even stick it on their fridge, on your laptop or make a bookmark. During your Yoga Nidra or Meditation practice can be a very powerful time to set your Sankalpa as it is believed when you are in a calm and present state of mind an intention is more likely to stick.
It won’t happen over night but be patient keep your Sankalpa as a daily intention and only positive can come of it.
Sankalpas can be very empowering for kids also. It encourages them to be positive. Last year I had great fun in my son’s school I lead his class and 4 other classes of 6 years olds through some simple mindfullness meditation and at the end we decorated book marks with their Sankalpas. The suggestions I gave them was “I am brave”, “I am kind” and “I am happy”.
If we were all a little more positive the world would no doubt be a nicer place. And where better to start that being positive towards ourselves.