the word of today, as we walk through January, is sankalpa. This is a sanskrit word which means “conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind, solemn vow or determination to perform, desire, definite intention, volition or will. In practical terms, the word, Sankalpa, means the one-pointed resolve to do or achieve; and both psychologically and philosophically, it is the first practical step by which the sensitivity and potentiality of the mind is increased; it is known as the capacity to harness the will-power and the tool to focus and harmonize the complex body-mind apparatus. (source)
“Most New Year’s resolutions spring from the misguided desires of the ego, senses, and conditioning. They almost always fail because they start from the assumption that who you are is not good enough, and reinforce the mistaken belief that your happiness depends on acquiring what you want.The yoga tradition offers a refreshing alternative to the New Year’s resolution: the practice of sankalpa, or resolve. A sankalpa practice starts from the radical premise that you already are who you need to be to fulfill your life’s dharma. All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desires, and channel the divine energy within.” (source)
Your innermost sankalpa needs to be able to surface, which it does when the mind is quiet, and you can be attentive to that. I think you also need faith that there is possibility and hope greater than the present moment for your innermost desires to be fulfilled. So this season of resolutions, get yogaminded and uncover your sankalpa
I think the best way to describe how to develop present moment awareness through your yoga practice is to look at it as a moving meditation. “Yesterday ended last night” is a good way of affirming and grounding yourself in now. You may be living the consequences of yesterday today, but hopefully your new mindfulness will lead you to make different choices so that when you say this tomorrow, you are actually in a better place.
“Aligning the mind with the experience of the present moment is the fundamental practice of mindfulness…As soon as you become aware that your mind has ventured off into thoughts about the past or the future, slowly reestablish the vertical axis of mindfulness…” ~ Will Johnson
“Being “in the state of flow” doesn’t mean that we spend all of our time in bliss in the nondual realms. Flow means allowing ourselves to be surrendered to life, to the way it is, and to forget ourselves in pure involvement in our work, our task at hand, our love-without worry over the outcome. As Robert Frost said, “Freedom means moving comfortably in harness.”” ~ Stephen Cope
“Mindfulness is not just an action of the mind” ~ Will Johnson
Today, see if you can, every time the mind flies off to yesterday or tomorrow, just stop, take a breath and feel where that breath is moving in your body right now. Do that for just a minute if that is all you have, and see whether exchanging the thinking mind for the feeling self, harnesses your energy and guides you into an aware presence and calm
the present moment
harmony is created by practicing present moment awareness…
we continue to focus on the present moment as the week of posts continues…Yesterday we used some quotations from the above author, Eckhart Tolle, and today we resume, and add on other insightful reading
“Take the past, for example. We think of it as something, but it is really nothing. Go looking for it, and you will never find it. We all think of ourselves as being shaped by the past, and many of us think we are limited by it. The truth is, you and I both have a past. It’s powerful and often painful and has shaped us in ways past knowing. Having said that, I invite you to forget it. The past is, quite literally, irrelevant. It has power over us only if we give it the power each moment. You give it power by the moves you make in each moment. Each day you and I are offered the opportunity to recreate the past or to create a brand new future. Take your mind off the past and the future, and focus instead on the moments that are occuring constantly. If you do this, I guarantee you will not regret it.” From Conscious Living, by Gay Hendricks.
Has anyone made mistakes? Do you find you dwell on the past or learn from it? This is a great piece of art from MOMA and a common expression when you are on the yoga mat and begin a pose, you are tight, need to adjust, OOF….. you never want to do that again! So what do you do? It’s interesting to see what our styles are when encountering resistance or when taking a decision that isn’t right for us. So what can you do?
Using mindfulness to bring yourself into the present moment, have some objectivity about what you did, how you could do it better, then let it go as you are now prepared for what lies ahead. This is the gift of savasana in our practice, it helps us to integrate and assimilate and then see the gift of the new moment we are in
This is encouraging. A few people I have spoken to lately say they lack motivation. They all have different reasons. I think sometimes the projects we are trying to get motivation for are very big compared to the energy level we have. We spend so much time ‘doing’ What to do about bringing balance?
– You can try to sit quietly for a few minutes and unwind; my Yoga Mind cd has practices from 5 -20 minutes..rebalance, reboot, refresh
– You can set up a 15 minute relaxation practice
– You can do a restorative yoga pose, like legs up the wall (viparita karani)
There are many options, if you get stuck start where you are, use what you have, do what you can….and I am available for private yoga classes which will address structural, emotional, physiological imbalances so that you develop awareness and ability to find a yoga practice that meets your needs wherever you are
It’s ok to breathe and be too!
be the observer and the breather
How you do this is personal, and not a reflection of whether or not you can do a headstand. Like anything, start with a calm mind prepare to give up something old, set a new intention, and go forward.
Being and Breathing has great side-benefits