Evolve Retreat Highlights & Sankalpa

Evolve Retreat Highlights & Sankalpa

It is so fun to say that our Evolve retreat last Friday was a great success!  Along with my two co-hosts and friends, Rania Dempsey MD, and Susie Steiner, we couldn’t have been more thrilled with how the day unfolded! The word that the participants used to describe the event was, synergistic.   That is exactly how we experienced our combined content and overall energy that everyone brought with them that day. 

There were 27 of us who treated ourselves to a day of self-care, to tune inward and do some self-discovery work, and have a little “me” time.  Who gets the chance to do that these days?!  That was exactly the opportunity we wanted to provide so that attendees could set themselves up for 2020 with intentions that honor what is most important to them.

Sankalpa (Sanskrit: सङ्कल्प): means an intention formed by the heart and mind — a solemn vow, determination, or will. 

At the retreat, the theme during yoga and throughout the day was to encourage the discovery of Sankalpa or Intention. This is not a goal, but a vow, a promise to show up and try. To give it your best shot, to do things from the heart, to keep evolving, to keep becoming. In the yoga tradition, it is believed that we are already whole and perfect and want to illuminate the qualities and gifts that are within us at greater levels. This is where transformations are formed.

This is very different from a “Resolution” that wishes to change something that is thought to be a problem or lacking in us. With this perspective, we are beginning from a deficit and a tone of negativity and frustration that underlies the goal that is desired. On the other hand, a Sankalpa or Intention comes from the heart and calls forth a connection to the things that are most important to us so we are reminded to lead with our highest and best self.

In other words, we want something for ourselves because doing so puts on a path of feeling passionate, energetic and alive!

Our Sankalpa is the spirit of a specific goal, not the goal itself. With an intention to elevate how we would like to feel and show up in the world, we are able to ride the ups and downs of obtaining a particular goal and be our strongest, centered, healthy, connected, and purposeful selves.

To align with your Sankalpa/Intentions, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do I want to feel?
  2. What do I want to bring to the world?
  3. What is my heart really yearning for?
  4. What is it that makes me feel alive and connected to my values so that I can make choices based on what is most important to me?

I contemplated these questions during a yoga class, trying not to mentally search for something but have it bubble up and speak to me. A very clear word popped into my awareness, Light! I knew this was it because I was feeling heavy in my body and spirit. Because of this Sankalpa, I am eating healthy and doing things that have lightened my load by focusing on the most important steps in front of me. I have this strong emotional connection to this word that has already made a considerable difference!

Now it’s your turn to ask the important questions and formulate your Sankalpa. Have fun with it!