This is the time of year we all set intentions–resolutions for a new you. Usually they’re overridden by our innate laziness and human frailty, but there’s a way to work on transformation that is more successful than a random wish for sobriety and weight loss.
In Yoga, we have the practice of Sankalpa. It’s the taking of a vow, not simply for eradicating a bad habit, but to influence your whole life, by transforming you at the levels of not just the body or mind, but also spiritually and emotionally. Choose a phrase that will bring strength to the structure of the mind–a call to awakening! Try a short mental statement that will create a quickening of your evolution.
The way a Sankalpa can be truly effective is to repeat your vow before and after Yoga Nidra. During this practice, your affirmation will go deep into your psyche. When the mind is relaxed, it becomes fertile ground to plant the seed of your Sankalpa. Do this with strong feeling, and unshakable willpower.
In my Big Yoga classes we do Yoga Nidra after the asana portion of the class. Students are guided to tense and relax all the body parts, to prepare the body to relax deeply. Them, with a gentle reminder to not fall asleep, I guide the students to observe all the parts of the body again, mentally, releasing any residual tension. This is followed by attention to the breath, and finally attention to the mind. This induces a deeply relaxed state in which the mind rests, allowing pure awareness to come to the fore. (For a free recording of the Yoga Nidra practice, go to my resources page)
Before coming out of this state, repeat your sankalpa again, to water the seed you have planted. This seed of transformation will come back into your consciousness again and again, helping to bring about changes in your personality and the direction of your life. You are not bound by any negative habit or obsessions! You are the creator of your Destiny!