Determination is one of the six qualities Svatmarama tells us are necessary in order to succeed in Yoga. But being determined can conjure up images of a person who won’t allow anything or anyone to stand in their way.
I found the phrase ‘living with intent’ – it is affirming, and I prefer it. In order to succeed at yoga we must indeed be determined in the sense of being single minded and focused, but we must also adhere to the principles of non-harming and non-stealing.
We can live every day with the intent to be mindful and work with awareness and enjoy our yoga.
One of the things I love about yoga is that it teaches us that we already have all the right stuff inside us. We don’t need to look outside for reassurance, but we might need to build our self-confidence. When that happens, try an affirmation, a Sankalpa. I use them a lot.
An affirmation should address what is – so don’t say to yourself “I wish I were thin” or “I want to be rich” or “I wish I could give up smoking” – keep to the here and now. For example, I have a Sankalpa I use when I’m driving and I repeat it to myself before I set off, and whenever I feel my concentration start to wander. I simply say ‘I drive calmly and safely to my destination’. If I am anxious about something, I tell myself ‘I move forward on my path with courage’. Use the present tense and just say what IS – not might be.
A Sankalpa must always be positive and life-affirming. We spend quite enough time as it is beating ourselves up about things. Be positive.