The saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” In Yoga this saying is Truth. Our approach to every aspect of the practice is effected by that which we intend to cultivate. The sanskrit term “Sankalpa” is translated as; intention, declaration of purpose and determination. At Lake Tahoe Yoga each practice begins with a Dharma Talk intended to provide an opportunity for learning and establishment of Sankalpa for your practice.
When I work out my intention is to burn fat, gain muscle and get my heart pumping. I am seeking a workout and health of body.
When I practice Yoga my intention is completely different. Every aspect of the practice was developed to help me refine my awareness. When I move my body I do so in a way that helps me to identify limitation, restriction, freedom and strength. As I breathe I am doing so effort-fully and with a focus upon drawing in and expressing as much breath as possible.
When I come to the mat my intention is direction, awareness and contentment. I am seeking more than perfection in posture. I am seeking awareness of my Self.
What is your intention when you come to the mat? Are you hoping to sweat and get a good workout or is your focus upon healing, awareness and depth of self?
Our minds are very powerful. They have power over our bodies, thoughts, actions, speech, and experience of the world. When your mind is effected by toxins or damaged the way in which you perceive the world and yourself can shift completely. The practices of Yoga are intended to help us to learn how to direct our minds. When recovering from injury Yoga can help heal and control our minds, and thus, our lives.
The intention of Yoga is not to provide a workout it is to encourage work within. Set intentions to heal, recover, establish peace, love yourself, etc. and you will become better at directing your mind to perceive the world clearly.
Health & Healing
When you step upon your mat consider your intention for the practice. What are you hoping to manifest or encourage to grow in your life? Consider your mind, your thoughts, your habits. Reflect upon past injuries and pains that have effected you. Establish Sankalpa and then begin to move. Notice how this effects you throughout the rest of your life.
How many times have you said "I will," "I'm going to," "Soon I'll," etc.? How many times have you failed to follow through on those intentions? A famous quote that I often call upon when life frustrates me is "the only consistent thing about life is change." Our Yoga practice is all about changing. We have to be willing to create and allow change to occur.
As part of our practice of Yoga we meditate. We take the time to sit and, maybe, find silence within. For some of us the chatter can seem overwhelming and it can feel as though we will never ever find silence. I'm sure you're thinking right now, "what does she know, she teaches Yoga." Feel free to jump inside my head one day, I assure you that running a Yoga studio and working at a school does not increase my inner silence. But, my efforts have shown considerable progress.
This month, as we focus on listening for our most heartfelt desire, our deepest intention, I encourage you to practice mediation. We need to be able to listen to ourselves. We need to hear our own hearts and spirits. We need to kick out the ego and the judgment and the voices of others. Take the time to listen to what's within you. You may find that change is not so hard to take.