Setting a Sankalpa--Options One and Two

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Having an intention, or sankalpa, whether for your yoga class or for your life, sounds good, but how do you set one? Can you have more than one? What if you can't think of any? There are several methods to setting an intention.

The simplest and most intuitive way is to ask yourself what your intention is, and then listen for the first word or phrase that comes to mind. The Self often lingers in the background just waiting for you to ask, and is eager to give what you ask for, but you must be willing to listen and trust it. A fair example would be coming to your mat and hearing the yoga instructor ask you to set an intention for class. You pause and wait for the first word that comes to mind. "Presence" is the word that jumps to the forefront, and there it is: your intention for the class. As you move from one posture to the next, from one inhale to the following exhale, you intend to remain present, focused, aware of all you sense and feel.

If this method seems too "woo-woo" for you, you can pause to think a few moments about how you want to feel or show up. For example, if you are scheduled to host a presentation at work, you may wish to feel calm and to appear confident and knowledgeable. Your intention might then translate as, "I feel calm and peaceful about my presentation because I am confident in my grasp of the content I am presenting." (Obviously, for this to be true, you had to have done the work beforehand! This is not magic!) Several intentions showed up for you here and melded into one strong statement.

There is one more method for setting a sankalpa, or intention, that we'll save for the next post; it's more intense! What kind of experiences have you had in setting a sankalpa or intention, whether in life or in yoga class? 
How to Set a Sankalpa

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