Give me strength…give me strength…I ask for wisdom and peace in this trying time of my life.
When we face challenges, we often ask for strength. But I am not sure how to define it. I have needed strength these last few months more than ever, all on a subconscious level. I have needed it to recognize my faults, fears, and my future…
I have needed it to stay present, to hold myself here and stop digging into the past or looking to the future for answers unknown.
Yoga teaches us to stay in the present and I find it is always the biggest challenge a student will face.
I believe the best way to focus on the present is through the practice of intention, or the Sankalpa. The Sankalpa is the BIG intention in our life. The big focus that will make us better people, and the world better for it. Sankalpa is this constant thought stream that helps us manifest our deepest spiritual intentions.
We start by making baby Sankalpas, like “I will be happy”, “I will be strong”, “I am healing my past”. Then we work towards bigger spiritual goals, such as “I am practicing non-attachment”, “I am whole in heart”, “Compassion is setting me free”, to help us become a whole being.
The Sankalpa helps keep my head as I deal with normal human stuff in my relationships and life practices. When I lose sight of it I can always bring myself to the present moment, to my consciousness, which will gather me up in its arms, brush me off and send me on my way.
Ways to practice your Sankalpa
Throughout your life your Sankalpa practice will only deepen with regular practice. Some ways to do this are:
- Making this a daily 10 minute ruotine to enhance your concentration
- Using it before and after your yoga asana practice
- Journaling about it (and about what gets in the way of it). This is what we’re going to do later on in this post.
I find it keeps me honest with myself and with others. It makes me a kinder, more patient and compassionate person. Everyone is going through something, usually, whether it be the daily feats of lives or a much larger problem. It can only overtake us if we give it permission to. If I just sit and repeat my intentions and Sankalpa, I will almost immediately find grounding, peace and inner wisdom to show me the way.
Alongside this, I find more power and inspiration with having a sacred space or altar to go to at home. My space is a quiet corner in the bedroom where my sacred reading and journals are kept. It is this devotional space I can go to and light a candle each morning that will help me remember my truest intentions and desires. With the flip of the lighter and a turn of an oracle card, a skim of a page of a book that inspires, and a glance at my devotional figures, I am renewed and reminded of what this life’s purpose is.
Journaling Exercises: The best way to find your Sankalpa
Journal these questions:
- What are my biggest challenges in life? Emotionally? Physically? Spiritually?
- Out of all of these challenges, what is the hardest for me to overcome?
- What would make my heart sing?
- What would bring me peace?
- What do I need more of in my life?
After you have written down your thoughts, start to notice patterns about what you need to be in a better place. Write down key words that repeat themselves throughout the pages.
Now write little intentions that start with words “I am”. These intentions must be 100% positive, so no negative words at all! Make your statements present as if they were already true in your life and write them like so:
Instead of “I will lose weight”, try:
“I have the body I need”
“I am balanced in my physical health”
Or instead of, “I will make more time for me”, try:
“I have all the time I need”
“I honor my time wisely”
“I release stress” has a negative word in it that you are trying to get rid of, so instead try:
“I am living a peaceful life”
“Relaxation is natural to me”
The bigger intentions will come when these more mundane things that commonly plague us are in a better place.
Wishing you all well,