Yoga with Kerry

Sankalpa, setting intentions for the new year

Posted by Kerry Turner on Sunday, January 2, 2011

1.    Sankalpa for transformation:

The New Year is wonderful time to reflect on the past and set intentions for the future. In Yoga, intentions are referred to as Sankalpas. A part of the Yoga practice is about setting an intention or sankalpa for the practice, such as focusing on compassion, or your breath, or simply staying mentally in the moment. Intentions can help us focus on our goals, help us direct our awareness and attention to a common purpose. Many goals we set for ourselves involve some level of change within or without. Change is a natural part of our lives and our existence, yet, can be a very difficult thing to accept or incorporate into our lives. For example, common New Year resolutions’ involve getting into shape, eating better or being healthy and active. These are wonderful resolutions, so why do so many people set out with a good intention, only to fall back into old patterns? Change and transformation are challenging as they require a change at the deepest level, a change in habitual patterns. Yoga can help by practicing personal awareness with an intention through deep breathing, relaxation and asana poses. It is through these practices that we begin to see ourselves, to look within and see how we respond mentally to difficult situations, frustration, anger, joy, boredom etc. Once we see our own reactions and patterns we can start to make changes. We can choose to laugh, we can choose to let go, we can choose to show compassion. The power of Yoga exists within, the light is within, it is up to you to choose to peel back the layers and discover it for yourself.

The next time you practice, I encourage you to set your own Sankalpa and begin the journey within.