Monthly Archives: January 2017

Kindness

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In a recent yoga class, I talked about kindness as a theme for us both on and off our yoga mats. This idea was inspired by something I witnessed and then as I made my 2017 sankalpa.

The first event was an incident at a local super market on Xmas day. The lines were very long and very slow. After waiting in line for a painfully long time, a woman ahead of me had a meltdown. She started complaining loudly, stamping her feet, in other words having a full on temper tantrum.

Some people got very uncomfortable, looking around, avoiding all eye contact with the woman. Others chimed in with comments about how she should calm down and appreciate that the store was even open on Xmas at all. Their intention was good but clearly misplaced as it was obvious that their words were having the opposite effect: the more she was told to relax, the more agitated and aggravated she became.

So what to do? Talking to her wasn’t going to help. So I did the only thing I could think of: I started to breathe deeply. I focused on long inhales and long exhales, trying to exude calmness, patience, and kindness. It dawned on me that finding calm and peace on my yoga mat is wonderful, but being able to take that off the mat magnifies the feelings; what shows up is kindness. A type of kindness that makes me want to share it with others. As I stood there, finding my own calm breathing, holding onto and sharing kindness from inside, I was able to extend to this woman and to the rest of those in the store, waiting in line on Xmas day, patience and tenderness.

Later, as I thought about the whole experience I realized that sometimes it feels easier to extend patience and tender kindness to strangers. It made me think back to all the many times I am short tempered with my husband — sometimes for good reason, but mostly not. It doesn’t matter what provokes my emotional over reaction, the bottom line is that I don’t like this in myself and I don’t want to be this way with anyone, much less my dear husband. Overall I am a loving person and instead of beating myself up for the times I am not, I am connecting with the parts of myself that are patient, tender and kind. So my 2017 sankalpa is: In every encounter, I treat myself and others with kindness.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Yogic Sankalpas

heidi-sloss-logo-icon-high-resFor a New Year’s Day yoga class, I used the theme of creating a sankalpa. Kalpa means vow; san means a connection to a higher truth so Sankalpa is a vow or commitment we make to support our highest truth. It speaks to our dharma, our overriding purpose for our life. And our current sankalpa becomes a statement we can call upon to remind us of our true nature and will guide our choices.

Many refer to a sankalpa as deep resolve, like a resolution but different. A sankalpa involves focusing our mind, connecting to our most heartfelt desires and then channeling the divine energy within.

Sankalpas also differ from a typical New Year’s resolution in that they are expressed in positive, present tense statements that are significant, heartfelt and connected to the essence of our very being. It can instruct our subconscious mind, like a mantra, reminding us that we are timeless and perfect—a state of pure being.

To find a Sankalpa that is right for you for this year, start with the willingness to hear the messenger within. It takes courage to listen to our hearts, without ego or superficial desire. This is done by cultivating an open heart with a quiet and settled mind in meditation.

Questions to ask during meditation to find a meaningful and significant sankalpa are: What do I really want? What is the longing in my heart? What am I seeking? What do I yearn for?

A powerful sankalpa is a statement of a deeply held fact, a vow that is true in the present moment. It begins with I AM. It is not a prayer and it does not start with I WANT or I WILL. It is short and positive and meaningful, much deeper than a New Year’s resolution. It can be long term as opposed to just one year.

So when I wanted to lose weight 6 years ago, I didn’t do it by making the traditional New Year’s resolution of “I will lose weight” in order to look good for photos. Instead, my ability to lose weight came from a deep desire to be healthy and my motivation was not to be a burden to my children as I aged. I told myself that I AM healthy and strong and safe (one of my emotional triggers). It still took lots of discipline and commitment, but I connected to my inner being. I held onto the image of myself as strong, independent and was able to finally lose 55 lbs. over that year.

Some examples of sankalpas are:

I am awake and aware. I am happy, healthy and whole. I am calm, peaceful and relaxed.
I take great care of my body. In every interaction, I treat myself and other with kindness.
I am safe, I am healthy and I am loved. I am love.

I wish you great luck in listening for your sankalpa for 2017.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!