310: Setting the Table

How would it feel to be an architect of your destiny? Imagine if the seeds of thoughts and actions you planted now flourished in your future? Maybe one year from now or one day. How we resolve to live our life has the power to change the course of our life.

Sankalpa is the sanskrit word for intention. By setting an intention for anything we do in life we attune the mind for the body to follow. Often before a yoga class I will ask students to set an intention for their practice. It differs from a resolution which focuses on the negative aspects of ourselves, (I won’t drink coffee), but instead focuses on the feeling or mood behind the trait we want to strengthen or change about ourselves ( when I get up I feel tired so I reach for coffee). So your Sankalpa might be….’Today instead I will acknowledge this tiredness and accept it as a state choosing instead to rest when I need it’. A resolution is negative, (I am fat, I am lazy), an intention is positive, (I see what I need to do).

Setting an intention is like setting a table before guests come to dinner. You set the mood and the effort you put in changes how the course of the evening will run.

Set an intention like this;
1)Over the day look at your traits that you wish to change, maybe journal them or tell someone.
2)Rephrase it in a positive way. eg. I want to become more patient with myself during meditation. My Sankalpa for today might be ‘May I find patience with myself regardless of the outcome of my meditation. Whatever (life brings) or regardless ( what happens) are two great words to use in a Sankalpa because they remind you that you should keep going whatever comes up.
3)A bit of firmness and kindness is needed. Gently remind yourself that if you slip off your path, it’s no biggie. But stay resolute to try. Post it on your computer, post it pad, repeat it as a mantra, or say it over and over to yourself in bed at night.
water drops
Practice for today: A Sankalpa is not a series of wishes following more wishes. It is a silently set intention. Close your eyes, soften your face and take a few deep breaths. See what your course of action for today needs to be. Set your intention. See what happens.

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