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Your True Self

Updated: Feb 19, 2022



Our Mind Focus for January is to set our own intention, or Sankalpa.


San: highest truth

Kalpa: commitment, promise


If you've been following along with us, you know we've been working with intentions for quite some time now. If not, check out this blog post which gives you the basic idea of intentions in a yoga class.


Sankalpa is is a word very integral to Yoga Nidra classes. Yoga Nidra is a type of yoga that is done laying down. The goal is to bring you into a "dynamic sleep" state - sleeping but with a sense of consciousness. At the start of the class you choose a sankalpa that carries you through the end. The idea being that in your deepest moments of relaxation you manifest the intention and move closer to your truth.


Sankalpas are not to be taken lightly. We choose our sankalpas with a deep heart-felt desire to MOVE toward our purpose. To REALIZE our wholeness as human beings. Wow. That's heavy, right? Let's break it down...


 


Our Wholeness


We enter the creation of our sankalpa with the belief that whatever our intention is, it is not something that we get outside of ourselves. It is something already within us.


This one is really difficult for me, and I suspect for others as well. Almost everything about our society leads us to believe we need something else to complete us. We've been taught about media-messaging since middle school, but we're not taught how to really feel whole on our own.


Realizing my wholeness will be a life-long journey for me. I take the idea of my wholeness as truth and am patient with myself as I uncover it within my own heart. This is step 1, but in no means does it need to be "completed" before you can move on to the other steps.


 


Our Purpose


Oh great, another super intense topic!!! The purpose of our lives!! Don't worry, you don't need to identify this now -that's another life-long discovery. But it's something we work on finding in the silence of our yoga. And when crafting our sankalpas, we use our purpose as an overarching guide to keep us on track.


Think of it this way:


Purpose

-intention to get there (sankalpa 1)

-intention to get there (sankalpa 2)

-intention to get there (sankalpa 3)


It helps me to think of my purpose as something I do in the service of others. Here's a rough copy of mine:


Teacher

- share my truth (so we can discover we are all ONE)

- take care of myself (so I can take care of others)

- educate myself (so I can share the tools with others)


There are tons of resources out there to get you thinking about what your purpose is. The best place to start is in your own heart! If you're looking for some help to put words to feelings, the author Sahara Rose has a quiz that can help. She uses the term "Dharma" for purpose - a foundational belief in Hinduism. She has alot of good resources for helping you understand some Dharma and the link between Hinduism and Yoga.


 


Choosing Your Sankalpa(s)


Now that you've considered your wholeness and your purpose, you can choose your own sankalpa. Your sankalpa can be a paragraph, sentence, word, or mantra. You can have several, or choose to just focus on one in-depth. Your sankalpas will likely change with the seasons of your life. Above all else, your sankalpas should be something that helps bring you closer to your true self.


Below are some suggestions Ashton August, a writer for yogiapproved.com (you can find the full article here). You'll notice that some of her suggestions are in the form of mantras ("I" statements spoken in the present tense:


1. Sankalpa for Presence

  • I am here

  • I am present

  • I am fully present

  • Be here now

  • Presence

2. Sankalpa for Grounding

  • I am grounded

  • I am rooted to the earth

  • I am safe

  • Grounded

  • Anchored

3. Sankalpa for Peace

  • I am at peace

  • I am peaceful

  • I inhale peace, I exhale peace

  • Shanti, shanti, shanti (Peace, peace, peace)

  • Peace

4. Sankalpa for Focus

  • I am here and I am clear

  • I am focused

  • I am aware

  • Focus

  • Focus and presence


 

Sacred Mantras


Man: your mind

Tra: protect


In many traditional yoga classes, sacred mantras are chanted during the practice. These repetitive statements protect our minds from wandering outside of the present moment.


Here are some Sanskrit mantras that you can try:


Om - The sound of the universe

So-Hum - "I Am That"

Lokah Samastah Sukinho Bhavantu - "May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free"


 

Create Your Own Mantra


If you're looking to create your own from scratch, carve out time to really hear yourself. Then use the following pointers.


Your mantra should:


- Address a fundamental aspect of your life - what you want to heal, create, or transform

- Be something that if you were to achieve it, would bring you closer to a sense of who you really are

- Be 4-8 words long

- Be spoken in the present tense, starting with "I"


 

Creating or choosing our own sankalpas is a powerful exercise. When creating a sankalpa, we remember our wholeness, consider our purpose, and choose words to help remind us of those things. Your sankalpa can be a mantra - one passed down through the ancient practice, or one that you make by yourself. No matter what, it reminds you of who you are and how to get there.


Can't wait to dive into this throughout January, JFY!


Namaste,

Christina


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