Being surrounded by the huge peaks of the Mont Blanc massif during the European winter I was reminded of the metaphor used to describe the concept equanimity.. The mountain is always balanced and imperturbable regardless of what nature throws its way and although the wind and snow may reshape it subtly it remains strong.
The word sankalpa in sanskrit can be translated as ‘resolve’, so is it the same idea as a new year’s resolution? Well… sort of. A deeper definition of sankalpa is a vow to follow your most heartfelt desires, to be connected to the highest truth and follow your dharma (your life’s purpose). With this in mind the sankalpa is very much a resolve to connect to our truth within.
I’ve read widely on yoga, buddhism and meditation and studied two degrees in politics and international development but Michael Stone’s ‘Yoga for a World Out of Balance: Teachings on ethics and social action’ was the first book that really tied the two areas together and I was blown away! In his book, Stone firstly talks about how we can bring a wider world view to our yoga practice, rather than using yoga and meditation to ‘retreat’ from the world. Secondly, and very effectively, Stone uses the five yamas (outlined in the Yoga Sutras) to form a basis for taking ethical social action and making a difference in the world.