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 your yoga doesn’t just happen on the mat. Yoga translates into your life, 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 your 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 you are working on to create more harmonious connections in your life.  It’s not about how you wish other people were, or how you wish the world was, or about the things you wish you had, instead it’s about how you can transform your limitations to change your perspective to create harmony and balance in your life.

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

A Sankalpa is not about will-power, instead it is a guiding light, illuminating the path toward your 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 your 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