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If you’ve done a yoga class you might be familiar with the term sankalpa. The creation of an intention or a guide to take you through your practice often it takes the form of a quiet promise to yourself.

The term sankalpa comes from the sanskrit roots san , meaning “a connection with the highest truth,” and kalpa, meaning “vow.” Thus, it translates to denote an affirming resolve to do something or achieve something spiritual.” (Yogapedia.com).

Yoga students are often encouraged to bring awareness to their thoughts by exploring a sankalpa during class. Test it out during your next practice – try to be kind to yourself with a sankalpa of ‘I am respectful of my body’s limitations’ then noticing each time you move outside of that by pushing further than comfortable. You may find you are motivated by ego, a desire to keep up, or to be better than the student next to you. With the intention to be kind you might step back and appreciate where you are at in that moment.

The same approach can be used for life just as in yoga practice. A quiet inner word with oneself as to who or how you wish to be in the present tense as though this is the current truth. For some it becomes a personal mantra ‘I am enough’, for others it may be a goal they don’t yet fully believe ‘I am confident in what I do’.

How to find your sankalpa

To find yours it can help to look past the superficial resolution of a goal to strive for to ask yourself the uncomfortable question ‘why?’ I say uncomfortable because often we don’t like some aspect of ourselves probably the one we’re looking to change! We can find ourselves squirming in our own skin when we begin to recognise the cause of our insecurity.

The conversation might go like this… Resolution – ‘I’m going to lose weight’. Why? ‘To be skinnier.’ Why? ‘Because I think if I weighed less I’d be more loveable.’

Your sankalpa might be ‘I am loved just as I am’ or ‘I am happy and loveable in my own skin’.

As soon as you say it you might feel that little voice in your head saying ‘no you’re not’. This is where the work begins. To reconcile that inner turmoil of actions and words conflicting until you believe what you are telling yourself you are lovable.

Then go forth and live with intention to be the best human you can with flaws and all.