New-Years-Resolutions-Patty-Kikos-Kundalini-YogaThe year 2013 is the first time in a long time that I have not set a New Years Resolution. I figure after the fast pace of 2012, the fact that I survived and am still alive and kicking is enough to make me want to continue with the smooth conversion of continuously prevailing. For now.

But it did get me thinking about intentions. I think about this term often, as I ask my students to set one at the beginning of every single yoga class. I do this myself before my own personal practice.

And the concept of a ‘san culpa’ came up. A san culpa is an intention, like an affirmation, that is repeated at the beginning of a yoga practice. It is actually a heartfelt intention. This seed is planted at the beginning of the yoga session; and the actions of the yoga practice serve to water and nurture the seed.

As with any seed, with enough nourishment and time, it will sprout, and bloom into the flower, plant, or the fruit that it was always meant to become. A san culpa or an intention is an empowering statement which, upon repetition sinks into your subconscious and attracts whatever you intend to experience to you. Sound a bit too much like NLP or Louise Hay? Interestingly, yogis have been doing this for years.

San culpa’s are actually easy to create; they must be positive, clear and stated in the present tense. An example is “i accept abundance graciously into my life” or “I am financially secure right now.”

Choose one that appeals to you because it will create more of what you want. While on the topic of Louise L. Hay, author of ‘You Can Heal Your Life” she is in fact an expert in affirmations.  She cured her cancer via healthy san culpa’s that she practiced every day.

 Some suggestions with how to use your daily affirmation / san culpa / intention are:

  • Repeat it mentally when you exercise (like when you run, surf, ski or akayak for instance), especially when you are challenged. It will help you focus.  to provide focus and motivation
  • During your n yoga practice, mentally repeat the intention at the beginning of class or when practice requires extra focus to help you stay motivated
  • Place the statement in special areas that only you see such as your screen saver, as your passwords, in a drawer, as a note in your bathroom cabinet.
  • Create a vision board with your statement in the middle and then have pictures or slogans around it
  • Repeat the statement while you walk to the bus stop, or when you meditate. You can also incorporate it as a form of japa meditation where each repetition uses a bead from a mala.

In yoga we set an intention, at the beginning our practice and affirm it again before savasana, or final resting pose. Our yogic intention may be to focus on strength, flexibility or a calm mind.

New Years Resolutions are a wonderful opportunity to set an intention for the beginning of the year, however there are also so many opportunities throughout the year such as:

  • A particular day
  • A significant week
  • A (special) month
  • A school term / semester
  • The duration of a pregnancy
  • A moon cycle
  • A mourning period
  • A season

Do you have preferred times to make wishes or set intentions? How do you choose the best time to start releasing or manifesting something new?