With the occurrence of Winter Solstice in December and the New Year just around the corner (“at last!” I hear you say) we often start to think of what this means to us: The passing of one year and the beginning of another.
Now can be a good time to reflect on the past year. For many of us 2021 has been a turbulent time; personally, professionally, economically and sociologically. We may also acknowledge the challenges, losses and gains we have faced. It can be a positive step to hold space for those thoughts and emotions and perhaps ‘sit with them’ for a while. When we can permit ourselves to accept those thoughts, feelings and sensations we can then start to allow ourselves to let go of any negative thoughts that no longer serve us.
In yoga philosophy we call this Santosha (a Sanskrit word roughly translated to contentment). Santosha is the second of the Niyamas of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga and whilst it isn’t always easy to be contented with bad or negative events or emotions we can try to help ourselves find a little more contentment if we can ‘let go’ and accept what is done is done and try to move on. Letting go of our own personal darkness and welcoming the return of light – is similar to the Winter Solstice! In yoga we honour the long night of darkness and welcome the return to light and hope. We take time to focus on our own personal journey from darkness to light with the passing of the old year and welcoming the new year ahead.
A helpful practice can be to smile to yourself and neutralise any challenging emotions with the Mantra “I let go of darkness, I let in the light”.
New Year is a time of opportunity and hopes and desires. It’s a time to consider our plans and expectations! We can also consider any wisdom gained over the previous year and of course, remembrances.
In the western world we often start to make our new year resolutions.
In yoga it can be a time to focus on what we call our Sankalpa or intention. A Sankalpa is a positive statement that we say to ourselves REGULARLY! It isn’t the same as a typical New Year resolution such as stopping smoking or starting to work out. However it is similar; a Sankalpa is a positive statement or intention that we REALLY DESIRE! It normally begins with two simple words: I AM ……
It may be:
I AM healthy and strong
I AM loving and kind
I AM Loved
I AM successful in all I do
I AM at peace
Or any other intention that is important to you. So, with the promise of 2022 just around the corner what will your Sankalpa be?
Ps: Watch this space for details of a very special event with Jane coming your way in February