My sankalpa: If not now, when?

A grogeous post yoga sunrise across Peckham Rye

A grogeous post yoga sunrise across Peckham Rye

Today I've decided to share something a little more personal about my yoga journey in the hope that in some way it resonates with you or inspires you to do something different. 

I'm a keen yogi and have been practicing on and off for many years now. Although I admit I originally begun yoga for it's 'fitness' element, I've grown to love it for so much more. This week really reminded me why. 

Since January 1st I've been participating in a 30 days of yoga challenge at my local studio Yogarise. I'm now 7 days into the challenge and I'm loving it. It doesn't feel like a pressure or a chore. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's given me a peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and it's really made me think about my intentions. One thing that resonated strongly with me this week from a variety of teachers is the idea of the sankalpa. The sankalpa is similar to a resolution, but not quite the same. It's hard to describe why it's different, but it feels deeper, more meaningfull, and importantly, more self-loving. It's a positive statement (or statements) about oneself and is formed in the present tense rather than as future intension.  Essentially, the sankalpa, acts as a reminder.  It acts to bring you back into the present. We cannot change the past, we can only act now to help create a positive future. 

Instead of reverting to my traditional "I should" "I must" or "I will" statements, I've looked for a statement about acceptance. I've chosen "I am content with being me". Why? Because, as I mentioned in my first post, I hope to embrace this year as a year full of opportunities for self-growth and self-love. In order to grow, I've got to be at peace with myself. 

Who knows, this may change as the year progresses, but right now this is where I'm at. One of my teachers made a really important point. Why do we choose the New Year to set all these goals? Every day should be a blank slate. What's the difference between January 1st and March 10th? It's merely a date in the calendar. If you are doing something positive for yourself, don't wait for Monday, don't wait for a new term, don't wait for a New Year. Just start.  Is there something you've been trying to do, something you hope to start, an opportunity you'd like to try? If so, why put it off any longer? Whatever your intention is, start today. Not tomorrow, not next week. Start today. Live with intention. Live from the heart.  If not now, when?

I'd like to end with a song by Tracy Chapman, an incredible American singer-songwriter. It's a beautiful song called If Not Now, When? I've shared the lyrics below as I find them really powerful. It you get the chance, then please do listen to her song. I assure you it's worth your while.

The lyrics are as follows: 

If not now then when
If now today then
Why make your promises
A love declared for days to come
Is as good as none

You can wait 'til morning comes
You can wait for the new day
You can wait and lose this heart
You can wait and soon be sorry

Now love's the only thing that's free
We must take it where it's found
Pretty soon it may be costly

If now now what then
We all must live our lives
Always feeling
Always thinking
The moment has arrived

By Tracy Chapman. 

Until next time, 

Hannah x