How was your January?
Often it feels like the longest month. Spent waiting for pay-day, for some waiting for snow. But if we used it wisely and anchored to the down-time it may have made the year ahead flow in our favour… Are you feeling an alignment to the rhythm and pace of winter?
Winter balance calls for us to reduce the power out-put and increase the power in-put. Being kind to ourselves, less time-commitment, more still-time, extra sleep and dream-time.
(See more about Winter balance, reflection, self inquiry and meditation in the BLOG)
The depths of winter is a valuable time to 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, the less affected we are by the usual crap that pull us away from feeling able – purposeful – worthy – loved – enough or [ ] whatever makes us feel unsatisfied.
And the better we know ourselves, the better we become at RELATING to each other and the world as it is right now.
“I am rooted But I flow”
I’ve no idea what Virginia Woolf meant by this quote ‘I am rooted but I flow’ but to me it’s my mantra for Winter time. I relate to it in the sense of the rock-solid stability of a mountain with it’s floating peaks amongst clouds and endless horizons.
It is from this winter vibe and mountain mind that we may feel driven to improve ourselves, make efforts to change ourselves or make winter resolutions.
Yoga teaches us that we do not need improvement. We are already rooted with the skills, tools, strength and insight to feel like our best selves.
However we do need mindfulness as an effort to help us remember – to know what we want and be fearlessly true to it.
This may mean taking a break from social media if it’s distorting your sense of self – got you comparing or doubting your life your confidence or your self-esteem. It may mean breaking some habits, unlearning some conditioning,or questioning some beliefs which are often ego-derived and not true to us.
Since we are already perfectly imperfect, if we feel discontent and the need to improve, any qualities or enhancements we want for our year ahead must flow from the devine wisdom of the heart.
If you’ve been using your January still-time for reflection and self inquiry you’ll be in a good place to freeride into February with some determination and resolve.
Create your Sankalpa – Resolution
“Sankalpa” is the sanskrit word for determined resolve or vow to do or become something purposeful or worthwhile. It takes the form of a short positive statement or affirmation in the present tense rather than a specific will or a want.
Examples of sankalpa:
‘I am compassionate to myself and others’
‘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 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’
It is a statement that identifies with a quality or drive that underpins all your actions and choices rather than a specific resolution. It is not as specific as I will quit smoking – stop procrastinating – lose weight – do more exercise – cut out sugar or other drugs – be less grumpy – stop being so controlling – be less shouty – eat more greens etc. A Sankalpa is more general and meaningful to you.
How to Make your Catch Phrase
If you feel attuned to what you really want to enhance this year – or to your heart felt desires (as opposed to the intellect or the ego) – you can begin to craft your Sankalpa – the seeds you want to sow for Springtime.
Take any insights from our winter reflections and self inquiry. Perhaps 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 that help you align with who you are or want to be at your best?
- Can you adapt your mindset to help you align?
Make a meaningful intention in the form of a statement or a mantra or a catch phrase. Make a few statements that reflect the overall feeling or change that you want to achieve.
Write them down and stick them around your home as reminders.
Say them to yourself on waking, before sleeping, during yoga, meditation and relaxation to imprint them in your subconscious mind.
Let your Sankalpa be the magic ingredient to underpin your best year yet….