This got me thinking about how people even manage to get to a class in the first place! It can often take a lot of organisation, especially if children have to be dropped off at school or if working patterns have to be fitted around taking an hour out of a busy schedule. It costs money and sometimes it takes courage to come along to a new class by yourself. So why would you put yourself through all that hassle and then have a sense of dread about where you are going and what you are about to do?!
For me, I have to enjoy whatever kind of exercise I am doing and feel that I have really gained from it; otherwise there really is no point. I need to feel better after having attended a class than I did when I walked in. I think that’s really stating the obvious, but having worked in the industry for 16 years it’s amazing how many times I have heard people saying that they “hate” the exercise they are doing, but feel that they just “have to” do it!
Sankalpa can be translated as being a brief, positive statement which refers to something important — an intention, or even a spiritual resolve.
From time to time I ask my students to think about what has brought them to class in the first place. I then ask them to think about what it is they would like to get out of the class. What their intentions are, in other words.
An intention could be that I want to achieve better health. Going to a class should help me to achieve this; if it becomes contrary to my intention, then I should question why I’m doing it in the first place.
Many people come along to a yoga or Pilates class to get help with an injury or to bring balance to the other types of exercise they do. Perhaps also to relieve stress or gain flexibility. Some people come along because they want to become part of a little community, to meet new people and to gain a new experience. To take some time out to do something for themselves for a change.
I get so much happiness and job satisfaction when I help my yoga and Pilates students to achieve some of their goals. The very worst thing that one of my students could ever say to me is that they dread coming along!
The next time you set out to do some exercise, then, why not take a few minutes to decide a Sankalpa before you make a choice about what to do. Be flexible — what you want to do could change from day to day. Think about where you want your life to go and make the exercise you do fit in with your intention.