Winter balance called for us to recharge, to FLOW without resistance and to managing how we expend our energy. In contrast, Spring Balance calls for us to GROW. To move beyond our comforts and reach beyond our pre-conceived limitations with renewed hope, love and imagination. Planting deep rooted commitment(s) or intentions to self – Sankalpa – is a great tool to expand and grow.
The process of winter is a valuable time to build a better relationship with our FEARS and build SELF ESTEEM. To identify better WITH ourselves, ACCEPT ourselves so we can be better at BEING ourselves. The more familiar we are with ourselves (physically, mentally and emotionally) the less affected we are by the external factors that pull us and shake us off balance.
If we have used our Winter wisely and aligned to the slow and soothing rhythm and pace of Winter, we may by March and April feel recharged and driven to improve ourselves, change our ways or make personal goals to shift up the gears into Springtime and the year ahead! (See more about Winter balance, reflection, self inquiry and meditation in the BLOG)
To get to the core of your intentions it’s useful to remember – What is the purpose of Yoga? It is a means to help us better know ourselves so that we can be at Peace with ourselves, Peace with each other and at Peace with the world around us. Through our yoga practice, we learn that we are already rooted with the wisdom, strength and insight to flow and grow with our best selves. So don’t rush into goal setting and making resolutions – first make sure your aim is true and purposeful rather than ideals or pressures at odds with your inner peace. Consider what drives you towards inner Peace and respect rather than outward achievements and desires.
“I am rooted But I flow”Virginia Woolf
This is my mantra as Spring arrives. With my mountain mind I relate to this – ‘I am rooted but I flow’. Plant seeds in a rock-solid mountain foundation rooted and stabilized in peace and respect. Those seeds can then grow and elevate to the mountain peaks floating in the sky as a dreamy network of endless horizons and possibility. I am rooted but I flow.
This mantra helps me to remember to make a simple goal (Sankalpa) underpinned with peaceful intentions. From that foundation choices can be expanded and refined for growth as high and wide as our mountain horizons.
“Sankalpa” is the sanskrit word for a determined promise or vow to do or become something purposeful or worthwhile. A tool for Spring time. A seed to plant into our days and direct our aims. It takes the form of a short positive statement or affirmation in the present tense – a catch phrase that represents the general shift needed to enabler inner peace and from which more specific goals can grow from.
Attune to what you really want, need, desire or feel is your true purpose. This is quite profound and may be easier accessed for regular meditators or mindfulness practitioners. If this intuitive wisdom is illusive to you, it can be helpful to take insights from your winter reflections and self inquiry to help you understand what seeds you want to sow. Ask yourself:
What insight or wisdom are you bringing with you from the depths of winter?
What behaviours, emotions and thought patterns have emerged on or off the mat?
Are there recurring feelings or thoughts that arise or a sense of knowing what’s holding you back or can help you align with who you are or want to be at your best?
Make a meaningful Sankalpa in the form of a statement or a mantra or a catch phrase. Make a statement that reflects the overall feeling or change that you want to bring to life.
Write it down and stick it around your home as reminders.
Say it to yourself on waking, before sleeping, during yoga, meditation and relaxation to imprint them in your being.
Let your Sankalpa be the magic ingredient to underpin your best year yet….
If you’re still unsure of a purposeful Sankalpa and nothing intuitive is coming to you, here’s some examples of mine from past years to help prompt an intuitive response in you:
‘I respect myself and care for my health and happiness’ This is a great one if you have bad habits or excess weight to lose – rather than saying ‘I will quit [xyz]’ the Sankalpa drives healthier choices and more peace with ourselves
‘I am trusting – I let life unfold’ This is a great one if you know you have issues around not being in control, or inability to process worries & anxiety for the future.
‘I am proactive and seize the opportunity to act’ This is a great one if you feel left behind or lacking in self esteem.
‘Everything I do, I do it with a kind heart’ This is great if you feel you could benefit from being more patient, tolerant, forgiving or if you’re feeling upset, hurt or angry and it overwhelms you.
‘I am compassionate to myself and others’
‘I am patient’
‘I am enough’
‘My true nature is happy and joyful’
‘I’m open to learn new things’
‘I am brave and courageous’
‘I express myself clearly and confidently and speak with integrity’