In yoga our intentions don’t come from a place of striving – to be better or different in an ego driven way. They are in complete contrast to resolutions which are driven by our ego and our external world, that come from a place of not being good enough.
The yoga word for intention is Sankalpa and translates to a heartfelt desire, from a place of already having all the qualities you need and essentially being perfect, or perfectly imperfect, just the way you are.
Applying this theme of intention, to consider what quality or attitude you would like to cultivate this year. Is there a behaviour, if you like, you can intentionally practice, or aim to model? You might like to overlay this with what the world needs more of this year also?
And we’ll spend some time in our self-enquiry in class this week, posing this question, planting this thought seed for your intention this year.
Self Enquiry – take a few deeper breaths… allow the body to relax and then turn your awareness inwards (this is easier to do once we have settled the body with some relaxed breaths, and allowed the mind to calm a little). A good way to aid this is by taking a few slow, gentle, deeper breaths... with a slightly longer exhale than inhale.
And now you're relaxed, posing the question to yourself this week, what personal quality will I give my focus to this year. Or is it an attitude I chose to give my energy to. Reminding yourself there is no need to search for the answer; just posing the question without any expectation or striving to answer it; remaining open to an answer or a sense, to appear. Maybe it will come right away, maybe not… it may come up when you’re least expecting it, in a still moment, when your listening and the question has settled and the answer quietly appears – maybe as a word, maybe as a sense, maybe some other how. Notice if you can be okay with that.
Meditation - take a few minutes each day to relax with a few deeper, conscious breaths and once the body begins to relax and the mind follows (even if just a fraction more settled), sit with the question 'what is my intention'. It could be for the year, for the month or even for this day.
It's often useful to then check in with your head, heart, gut to get a sense of where it's coming from and how aligned you are across these 'brain' centres in the body.