by Natalie Saari
The yoga tradition offers a profound formula for realizing your heartfelt desires — without asking you to change who you are. It is the practice of SANKALPA.
Almost every New Year’s resolution starts with two words: “I will.” We summon our willpower and pledge to change not just what we do but who we are. We set goals and imagine how happy we will be when we get what we want.
But if there’s one thing yoga teaches us, it’s that there’s a world of difference between “I will” and “Thy will.” Most New Year’s resolutions spring from the misguided desires of the ego, senses, and conditioning. They almost always fail because they start from the assumption that who you are is not good enough, and reinforce the mistaken belief that your happiness depends on acquiring what you want.
Yoga offers a refreshing alternative to the New Year’s resolution: the practice of SANKALPA, or resolve. A sankalpa practice starts from the radical premise that you already are who you need to be to fulfill your life’s dharma. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desires, and channel the divine energy within.
Sankalpa: Going Beyond Resolutions
The chief architect of life is the mind. To create the life we are meant to live, we must draw the mind again and again to our dharma, our deepest intentions.
A sankalpa speaks to the larger arc of our lives, our dharma — our overriding purpose for being here. The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide you along your path.
Looking forward into the next year, aski yourself what specific things need to happen to move you forward on your path. Your specific sankalpa will describe what you need to do, and where you need to direct your energy, to make progress on your larger life goals.
Plant the Seed of Your Sankalp
The core practice of sankalpa is_____. By bringing the statement to mind, you strengthen your resolve and honor your heartfelt desire. Repeat the word or phrase… Write it down… Journal it… Draw it… Say it… Sing it…. Let the vibrations out!
an offering from Natalie Saari- January 2016