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.
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 feel recharged and driven to improve ourselves, make certain changes or resolutions to shift into Springtime and the year ahead! (See more about Winter balance, reflection, self inquiry and meditation in the BLOG)
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 each other and 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 determined resolve 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 and represents the general shift that we need to create for inner peace and from which more specific goals can grow from.
Examples of sankalpa:
‘I respect myself and care for my health and happiness’
‘Everything I do, I do it with a kind heart’
‘I am trusting – I let life unfold’
‘I am compassionate to myself and others’
‘I am proactive and seize the opportunity to act’
‘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’
Attune to what you really want to improve this year – or to your heart felt desires (as opposed to the intellect or the ego) – and craft your Sankalpa – the seeds you want to sow.
Take any insights from your winter reflections and self inquiry and 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 achieve.
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….