Exhale 2018, Inhale 2019

By Cassie Harrison, Yoga Team Lead RYT, RPYT

A new year, new you! We often make a New Year’s resolution at the start of a new year in hopes of making changes to improve our lives during the coming year.  What starts off as a optimistic plan for the future, Go to the Gym More (i.e. You’re Not in Shape!) or Call Mom and Dad More (Guilt!) comes from a place within us that says we are not good enough and rarely works.  What starts off a noteworthy concept, instead becomes a list of our faults. What about instead trading in those old and (albeit) familiar ideas instead for an intention or Sankalpa.  A yogis new year’s resolution.

Sankalpa is an intention formed by the mind and heart, it’s what’s behind the emotion of the traditional new year’s resolution.  To make a Sankalpa is to make an intention or to resolve (a resolution). A sankalpa allows you praise your effort rather than focus on what you are doing wrong.  This is a change from how traditional new year’s resolutions tend to leave us feeling guilty and mad at ourselves for breaking them. Release yourself from holding onto the past and instead create an intention full of possibility for the future.

Start by looking at you resolutions (I know you already made them!) and note how they make you feel (anxious, mad, jealous!). You might need to journal about these feelings over the next few days before this last step.  When ready, ask yourself how would you like to feel this year and turn those results oriented resolutions into something that will give this years journey more value.

Here are some suggestions of sankalpas given by Satyananada Saraswati in his book “Yoga Nidra”:

-I awaken the spiritual potential.

-I am a positive force in the evolution of others.

-I am successful in all that I undertake.

-I am more aware and more efficient.

-I achieve total health

Or from Catherine Guthrie at Yoga Journal:

-May I be Happy and Open to What Life Brings Me.

Be gentle on yourself, these changes don’t happen overnight. Make your intention/sankalpa a part of your daily ritual to remind yourself what you will accomplish this new year.

Join the Moon in any of our yoga classes to explore and support your sankalpa. Learn more about our free community classes (in Chicago and Highland Park), our Yoga for Fertility series (in Chicago, Highland Park, and NEW Long Grove option near our Buffalo Grove office!), how our Prenatal Yoga is unique and more! New additions are added to our Calendar every month!

 

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