Feelings and new beginning

We’re near the end of January. How have the first month of the year been feeling to you? I’d like to emphasize – FEELING. It’s not about what you’ve done, but how have you’ve been feeling or in other words what and who have you BEEN.
For me who I am BEING is equally, if not more important, than what I am doing. And our feelings define the quality of our being. Am I feeling / being joy or sadness? Acceptance or resistance? Love or fear? Pain or pleasure? Freedom or limitation?

imageWhen we have emotions that feel good, we are vibrating at a high rate, aligned with Source Energy. And that helps us to attract more positive stuff in our life. So it’s vitally important to choose to do things that make us feel good, to have wonderful positive people around us, and to learn surrender and go with the flow of life when we can’t change what’s going on rather than struggle and get angry.

If you don’t feel you’ve been your best this January ( I personally don’t), we’ve got a perfect second chance! Well, yes, every day is a second chance, I know! but it feels good to do it in synchronicity with big natural cycles. The new year of the Horse is starting next week and it’s for me a more significant new beginning to compare with the 1st January of any year, since Chinese calendar follows natural rhythms of the universe. So let’s start anew and this time really do our best to FEEL our best by doing what we need in order to feel so.

The practice of self-study, or svadhyaya as we call it in yoga, is always compelling at the turn of a new year. As I look inwardly, I’m asking myself: Who am I most committed to being in 2014? What is my word or phrase (sankalpa) for the coming year? I might write about my answers one day but for now I love you and leave you contemplating on what YOU want to BE. And to motivate you, I’d like to finish with the words of the Dalai Lama: “Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way.” If doing it for your own sake is difficult, do it for your loved ones, all people around you, your town/city, your country, your planet and all living beings!

Many Blessings for a Happy Horse Year!

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Are you ready for 2014?

It’s time to summarize the year 2013 as we have only a few days till new 2014 starts. Here are some questions I’ve been asking myself:

What important lessons have I learned?

What are my happiest moments in 2013? What made me feel joyous and content?

What and who am I grateful for?

I love finishing on a high note remembering the most valuable memories and most beautiful pictures of the year.

And then it’s time to plan for 2014!

If my life of the coming year is to be described in the newspapers, what would I love to see as the headlines?

What is most important quality I’d like to develop in the coming year?

Depending on my answers I’ll be formulating my new sankalpa. I feel like the one that I worked with in 2013 have come to life! So it’s time to channel my energy into a new area of my mind and soul.
(For info on yogic way of creating a new year resolution please read https://zoyalu.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/7-yogic-secrets-to-get-your-new-years-resolutions-come-true-part-1/ )

How do you finish your 2013? What are your thoughts? Do you have a tradition for closure and new beginning?

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Holiday season and to send you some blessings!

Lovingly,
Zoya

7 Yogic Secrets to Get your New Year’s Resolutions Come True (part 2)

Have you come up with a sankalpa? Hopefully, as this year is coming to its end, you’ve found some time to look back at your past and evaluate your mistakes and achievements, and then to look forward and think about the improvements you want to bring up into the 2012. By the end of the process described in the Part 1 of this post, you should be able to formulate a perfect Sankalpa for yourself. Next, you need to know what to do with it to get your dream come true.

When and how to use my sankalpa?

  1. Let’s start with WHEN. It’s not just repeating it with a glass of champaign at midnight on the 31st of December. We want to repeat sankalpa as often as possible. However it’s essential that the seed of sankalpa is planted deep into the subconscious. That’s the MAIN SECRET: to be successful, a resolution should be repeated when the mind is relaxed and ready to accept and absorb it. In the receptive state of mind we are able to correct the negative patterns already existing in the brain and install the positive ones. Only this way sankalpa can be powerful and effective, and unlike most resolutions or affirmations, will always get fulfilled. Each of us has the power to remould our own mental structure in order to achieve our goals, no matter how impossible it may seem at the beginning!
  2. l got to know about sankalpa when I was learning yoga nidra in an ashram of the Bihar School of Yoga, and I’m ever so grateful to Swami Satyananda Saraswati for his empowering teachings. Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep is one of my favourite practices ever! All you do is just lie down comfortably in Shavasana, and relax your body and mind very deeply. For more on yoga nidra click here.  When we practice yoga nidra we achieve a very relaxed and receptive state of mind. We traditionally repeat sankalpa 3 times at the beginning of  yoga nidra practice, which can be compared to sowing a seed in the bed of our mind, and then 3 times at the end of practice, when the mind is receptive and sensitive to autosuggestion, which can be compared to irrigating it. William Wordsworth said: “Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds.”What do you choose?:) I love growing flowers!
  3. I also repeat my sankalpa 3 times before and after any other yoga practice. Yoga ia all about  building up awareness, and being aware of the thoughts allows us to control them so we can get rid of «weeds» (negative or empty recycled thoughts) and encourage the growth of «flowers» (positive powerful thoughts).  Sankalpa comes as a yogic tool to plant and nurture a beautiful seed into the mind field. Let me just make it clear that by practicing yoga I don’t mean fitness yoga but yoga practice as it is meant to be – mindfully performed asanas, as well as pranayamas (breathing techniques) and meditation. 
  4. Receptive and meditative state of mind also occurs naturally when we are waking up and falling asleep. So it’s a good idea to repeat sankalpa in bed. At night, my sankalpa lets me smile and go to sleep in a positive state of mind (read the next point and you’ll get why), and in the morning it helps me to refocus my energy of the day.
  5. Now about HOW. We usually pronounce a sankalpa 3 times aloud or silently. However, it’s not just about the words, the sankalpa must be supported by our positive emotions in order to create a powerful binding mechanism within our subconscious. It’s more about the vibrations that we project out into the Universe, so an inner smile, symbolic positive images and/or pleasant physical sensations in the body will rise our vibrations and therefore increase the power of sankalpa. When repeating your sankalpa, always feel what you will feel when you achieve the desired outcome and see yourself in a new desired state.
  6.  You should have sincere faith that your sankalpa will be effective. The result does depend on your sincerity, as well as on a deep felt need to attain the goal of your resolve. Knowing how this works is irrelevant compared to knowing that it does work. Your faith strengthens the effect of the sankalpa on your subconscious mind, so that the resolve will become a reality in your life.
  7. Don’t expect results overnight – flowers don’t grow this fast! Depending on the complexity of the request the manifestation will take shorter or longer time to come into full being. Don’t give up! If you slip up a couple of days or weeks, just let it go and get back on track. To see the flower growing and blooming, we need to take care of the flower seed by regularly watering it, providing fertilizers, air and sunshine. The same way we have to keep practicing and continually repeating sankalpa every day with conviction and passion till the goal is achieved. The sankalpa when practiced correctly never fails!

If you know what you want to achieve in life, sankalpa can be the creator of your destiny. That’s what it’s become to me – my sankalpas (as I’ve been reaching my goals I’ve changed quite a few of them throughout these years) helped me be more clear, more self-confident, more loving, more disciplined and more accepting which ultimately has allowed me to live the life of my dream. I use my sankalpa all the time as a reminder, an uplifting and motivating force that keeps me content and joyful, that helps me to manifest all I want into my life. And I have dozens of stories from my friends and students about their changed lives, great achievements and beautiful experiences that were brought to life thanks to sankalpa practice.

You still have a couple of days before 2012 kicks in. Choose your sankalpa and make your new year a memorable one! Thank you for reading!

Zoya

www.zoyayoga.com

29th of Dec 2011