Monday, June 27, 2011

Sankalpa for the Summer

This is from my latest monthly newsletter with some editing:

I hope this finds you enjoying these first glorious days of Summer. Summer is definitely my favorite season of the year. I cherish the warmth, the gardening, the beauty, the play, and the feelings of spaciousness and lightheartedness. So I've been contemplating: Can I generate these feelings from the inside, every season or every day? And the answer: Of course! I can create whatever outlook I want. And I am responsible for how I respond to every experience I encounter.

So, I brought these sentiments to classes all last week. I asked my students: What is your favorite feeling that Summer invokes? The answers were things like: laughter, playful, fun, and freedom. Then we worked with embodying those feelings through our asana. We set the intention (sankalpa), to generate one specific feeling/mood (bhava) for the class, and constantly returned to that in our minds and then breathed it into our bodies in the poses. We let it expand and radiate through our poses from the inside - out, so the poses were "moved" by our feeling, our bhava. This is elemental in Anusara Yoga and why I love it so much. Our asana is inspired by the heart's longing and it is potent.

I truly believe that through the power of intention and consistent long-term practice (abhysasa), we can turn our minds towards whatever we want. We see this when we decide to notice the color red. We start seeing it everywhere! Well, can we decide to start feeling spacious or lighthearted every day? I think we can. We have to want it and we have to practice. This is the power of sankalpa and this is the power of sadhana, a spiritual practice.

May your summer be sweet and filled with light and love.

1 comment:

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