September Focus: Autumn & New Beginnings
Life often goes by so fast that we forget where we are going. Autumn, a time when everything moves slowly and nature gradually transforms, is the perfect season to set goals for new beginnings, before stepping back into our past-paced everyday lives. Set goals that serve as guides, providing a sense of direction and a steady point of reference for the rest of the year.
Very often, when we need to set a goal, we rely on the changes we would like to make. There is this underlining assumption that something is missing, is inadequate or wrong. On the contrary, the tradition of yoga includes the notion of Sankalpa. Sankalpa is an intention, a deep life desire. Finding it does not come from what I want to change, but from what I want in general!
In the most unrestrained way that you can muster, go deep into your soul and ask yourselves, what is it that you are looking for in life? If you could achieve anything you wanted, what would that be? Whatever you end up with, put it in one small, concise and positive sentence – one sentence at the idea of which your heart starts beating faster. Repeat this sentence with confidence every morning and every night before your yoga practice, and repeat it every time you feel that you need something to bring you back to your ultimate goal. Envision that by setting your Sankalpa, you plant a seed that you water with each repetition, so that it takes root deeper and deeper inside your mind, and believe that your mind has an enormous ability of transforming your thought into action. Make it your life goal – think it, dream it, feed on this idea. Fill your mind, your muscles, your nerves and every part of your body with this idea.
Of course, no matter how open my attitude is, most of the time, achieving Sankalpa means letting go of things and habits. In that spirit, autumn reminds us how trees are not attached to their leaves, how life has to be transformed in order to move forward and how some things must be allowed to fall. Each time that the power of habit makes you question your decision, remember the beautiful words of Swami Satyananda, “Each of us has the power to remold our own mental structure. No personality is beyond reformation, and no fear or obsession is so deep rooted that it cannot be changed”.
By Anastasia Biliri,
οf the Neda Yoga Shala Team