Like the end of class, the beginning is always quiet and introspective. A moment to leave the busyness of the day outside. Taking deep, nourishing breaths as you allow yourself to arrive on your mat.
After those few minutes of settling into practice, we have the opportunity to connect with our own dedication for practice. In yoga we call this a sankalpa.
A sankalpa is a positive, life affirming statement, allowing us to create the life we want to live. It’s similar to a new year’s resolution that we’ve all set at some stage, however a sankalpa starts with “I am…”. And it doesn’t have to be set on 1 January 😉
Your sankalpa helps to provide a direction for life and honour the deeper meaning of your existence. When the mind is calm and quiet at the start and end of practice, we connect with this heartfelt desire, that which honours our highest truth.
I love this quote from Swami Satyananda Saraswati: “The resolve you make at the beginning of the practice is like sowing a seed, and the resolve at the end is like irrigating it”.
Here are three steps to setting your own sankalpa to create a more balanced, happy and fulfilled life.
1 – Keep it short and simple
Choose one short and simple sankalpa, something that you will remember for every practice. Your sankalpa doesn’t have to be an elaborate affirmation that’s shared with the world! Your sankalpa is yours to treasure. For inspiration on what your sankalpa might be, see how these resonate for you:
“I am aware and compassionate”
“I am in perfect health”
“I am radiant and energised”
“I am abundant and successful in all areas of my life”
2 – Stay with the same sankalpa
Once you’ve planted your seed, you want to keep watering it until it germinates and flourishes. So too with your sankalpa. Plant the seed at the start of practice, allow the flow of asana, breath and meditation to honour your intent, and feel everything integrate and settle during savasana. Once your sankalpa has manifested in your life, it’s time to plant a new seed.
3 – Positive language
Repeat to yourself “I will eat healthy” and then “I am caring for my being be eating healthy food” – do you feel the different energy these two statements create in your being? When setting a sankalpa, it’s important to use positive language, and to state our intention in the present tense. This helps to remind ourselves that we already hold within us the capacity to transform our life in a most amazing way.
As Wayne Dyer says, “Our intention creates our reality”. Create a beautiful intention, and you’ll have a beautiful reality.