In winter our natural inclination is to rest and restore – just like nature under a blanket of snow – the seeds and roots underground, the animals in hibernation – all in retreat to gather and store energy to be released in spring.
I love to tap into the winter vibes with yoga. To take the opportunity to reflect, evaluate and restore ourselves on the mat – to FEEL what inner changes we want to make to enhance our yoga practice and our lives in general.
While we DO yoga – I encourage you to FEEL the postures. To explore what sensations, emotions, resistance or thoughts arise while doing yoga. To gather insight from your response to the postures and to reflect on that. On reflection you may gain insight into what positive changes you can make for the year ahead – and from that you can create resolutions to impress a determination to become or do whatever you feel is right for you.
This sort of calm self inquiry is a valuable tool to help us balance and identify what qualities or enhancements we can promote in ourselves over the coming seasons. It can help us to create resolutions that run deep – that are more likely to run the course of time. This is why I don’t make New Year resolutions. For me they are destined to fail because I haven’t had the opportunity to retreat and reflect on what I really want or need. I prefer to make my resolutions as winter comes to a close.
“Sankalpa” is the sanskrit word for resolution. It takes the form of a short positive statement or affirmation. Use what you’ve learned and make a few statements that reflect the resolution that you want to achieve. Say them to yourself on waking, before sleeping, during yoga, meditation and relaxation to imprint them in your subconscious mind – a fertile ground to generate results.
So with spring around the corner ask yourself these questions
What insight are you bringing with you from the depths of winter?
What behaviours, emotions and thought patterns are you most strongly associating with on or off the mat?
Does this align with who you are or want to be at your best?
Can you create resolutions to help you realign?
Get involved – Make some resolutions and make them count!
I’ll share mine by way of example….
My recurring observations from this winter’s self inquiry feel connected to self-doubt and miscommunication – that’s the insight I have gained from this winter.
Are these qualities I want to take with me for the rest of the year? Uh-uh – no thanks.
I want to be confident in my ability to to feel safe, secure and happy despite all the unknowns – so I have resolved to be more courageous – to try new things and get out of my comfort zone more to help me feel comfortable with not knowing what’s ahead. These are my sankalpa ” I will try new things even if they scare me” “I am comfortable with not knowing what happens next” “I will happily let life unfold”
I want to listen – I have 2 big ears and only 1 big mouth so I have resolved to use the ears more and the mouth less. These are my Sankalpa “I will listen with my ears and my feelings” ” I am a good listener”