Sankalpa- How to create your intention

If you’ve been to my yoga classes or workshops you will know that I always begin by inviting you to create a Sankalpa, which is to set an intention. I love this ritual because it’s a reminder that our yoga doesn’t just happen on the mat. Yoga translates into our lives, and that’s where the differences begin to show. 

When a student wonders whether they are progressing in their practice I don’t ask whether they can now do a handstand or touch their toes. I ask how their relationships have changed, including their relationship to themselves which is where it all begins.

The practice of Sankalpa involves shaping the desire of our wise inner self into a short, precise, positive sentence of carefully chosen, feeling-charged words, in the present tense. It acts as a reminder of what it is that we are working on to create more harmonious connections in our lives.  It’s not about how we wish other people were, or how we wish the world was, or about the things we wish we had, instead it’s about how we can transform our limitations to change our perspective to create harmony and balance in our lives.

An effective Sankalpa is one that comes from a place of no-ego, and that connects us to our deepest desires, and those that serve the greater good. When we are clear about our path in life, the intentions that we set are in line with that vision and are there to support us. Creating a Sankalpa impresses on our subconscious and plants a seed in our soul.

A Sankalpa is not about will-power, instead it is a guiding light, illuminating the path toward our full potential and removing the shadows of distraction. When a Sankalpa is right for you, it comes with a strong positive energy that provides fuel for the engine of intention.

Creating a Sankalpa is not a difficult intellectual process, it’s a simple heart-felt connection to our inner wisdom. How do you want to be in the world? What is your highest expression of yourself?  If you have never created a Sankalpa before, some of these examples might inspire you:

“I form strong bonds with supportive people”

“I take one action at a time”

“I let go of what doesn’t serve me”

“I work to build community”

“I work to create justice in the world”

The important thing is to keep it real to you. Once you’ve created a Sankalpa, stay with it for some time until you feel that you have made a shift.

Lastly, I highly recommend that you write down your Sankalpa and place it where you can see it every day. This is the most effective way to keep your intentions fresh in your awareness.

Give it a go and let me know how you go.

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Barbara Courtille