As we approach the New Year most people begin with resolutions to make it better than the one before. Many of these are centered on being healthier by resolving to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc. Health is wealth and it matters immensely to your quality of life. Yet, these determined resolutions often fall by the wayside within weeks of the New Year.

In yoga, we like to set intentions- known as a sankalpa. Sankalpa means an intention formed by the heart and mind. It involves a resolve as well to focus your energies physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually on what truly matters to you. It is a tool meant to refine the will, and to harmonize heart, mind and body.

To me the difference is when I make a resolution only it often involves me shaming myself into better behaviors. Like I am not good enough as I am and therefore, I MUST change in order to be enough. When I set an intention via a sankalpa, I come from my heart knowing I am enough and my heart’s desire to be healthy on all levels of my BEing is what truly matters.

Yoga is a lifestyle choice that invites us to cultivate awareness of how we show up for ourselves and in the world. It is also an energy practice which invites us to expand our energy through the breathing exercises united with the movement of asana and then to still our minds with the practices of meditation. It is not about your size or shape of your physical body rather how are you feeling- do you have enough energy to thrive during your daily activities? Can you cultivate a calm-centered and joyful state of BEing?

For me my intentions for 2021 include maintaining a daily practice of yoga whether it is the breathing and meditation some days only and then asana added on other days. Focusing on my spiritual essence with the yoga practices really enhances my experiences each day. It also includes daily walks (since my dog really motivates me here)! I like movement of all forms, so some days it is dance or playing with my grandsons. Most importantly it is cherishing the connections that I have along with nurturing them as well. Being a better listener both to my own heart and bodies’ cues as well as really listening to others.

What are your intentions for the New Year? I invite you to journal this week and really listen to the desires of your heart as you move forward into the New Year with love, light, peace and joy. Have an amazing New Year!

Janie Gunn