Start by practicing deep, internal listening
Yoga Resolution #2: Listen to Your Inner Voice
Congratulations! You’ve made it to installment number two of our nine part series on new year’s resolutions or, in the language of yoga our sankalpa, our devout resolve. If you are just joining the conversation, welcome, you are just in time to get started with formulating our actual intent for the new year. Let’s begin!
Each of us has an important role to play within the creation and a sankalpa helps us to orient and participate in life more fully. When we are playing our part, the creation is glorified as are we. So how do we go about picking a sankalpa that will support us in the coming journey? Here are some things to consider and practice.
Self Reflection – Developing the skill of self reflection seems to be a natural evolutionary byproduct of yoga practice. The more conscious attention we bring to yoga, the better we understand ourselves. Understanding yourself, including understanding your intentions, is also something you can actively cultivate.
According to Vedic wisdom, this is a threefold process:
- The first exercise is sravana or a willingness towards deep, internal listening.
- Second, is manana, or turning towards or welcoming the message.
- And finally, nididhyasana or the willingness to take action on the message.
Begin with sravana, deep internal listening. Ask yourself what it is that you are urning for in the most fundamental way. Answers will vary depending upon your unique purpose. For some it may be more material longing such as physical health or vitality. For others it may be a more internal desire, such as a feeling of peace or connection to the Source.
As you inquire and listen, try to drill down into the most pithy essence of your desire. You can discover this essential impulse in a lot of different ways:
- At the tail end of meditation, when the mind is most still, plant a seed question or prayer around guidance.
- Do a kind of mind map brainstorm of what you want to let go of and what you want to invite into your life.
- If you are fond of writing, do free associative journal entry.
- Consider using any art medium to express the question, and unlock the boundaries of your unconscious mind.
- Enroll friends in the conversation. Collectively ask, “What is most essential to me is ____________.” Remember, peal back the layers of this essential value to expose the core desire.
Spend some time refining this unique and compelling impulse. Once you have a working understanding of your desire, distill it down to one succinct sentence that encapsulates this desire.
State this affirmation in positive and affirmative language. Come from a place of inner conviction as though this desire was already made manifest. As a quick example, one might begin with “I want to quit smoking” and graduate into “I taking loving care of my body”.
Now that we have spent some time on, and and honed into on our root desire, we can approach it in a lot of different ways. Using this beacon of insight, we can find lots of way to “take loving care of my body.” Your desire will also be empowered by the heart felt process of self reflection.
We will talk more about how to begin to actualize your intention in our next installment. For now, the most important thing is to just get started.
New Years Day Mantra for Inner-Illumination & Peace
– Jan. 1 at 9:30am
Start the new year on a sacred note. It will look very different than a conventional asana class, as we welcome the new year with meditation, individual and collective discussion (always inspiring!), and chanting the Gayatri Mantra 108 times. Create peace, within and without. Click here for more information.
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC
Suggested Donation ($15-20)