In yogic philosophy, a sankalpa is a solemn vow, made in the heart and forged by the will. A yogi sets a sankalpa to focus the mind and heart on a particular goal. Like much of Hindu philosophy, the idea of sankalpa is complex and layered, but the Western practice of conscious intention-setting that has gained popularity in the past few decades could be considered a simplified conception of sankalpa, with the caveat that a sankalpa is meditative and process-oriented. When you set a sankalpa, the effort you make towards your goal is as important as achieving it.
Judgment is an automatic practice for nearly every person on the planet: from the clothes we wear to the foods we eat to our surrounding environment and the people we associate with. As a practicing attorney in New York City, judgements were as natural to the legal practice, as is water to a sea full of fish. Without either, neither could survive. However, in the years after I left the practice of law, I began to engage in the practice of Mindfulness, which relinquishes judgment of each moment and its occurrences as they arise. Say what?!
The Sanskrit word for “Bless you!” is Bhagavadanugrahapraptirastu!, and if you’re a New York City yogi, it’s probably a good idea to learn it. New York makes the cut when it comes to the top five worst states to live in if you have seasonal pollen allergies, and there’s plenty of suffering to go around: because of our great American variety of allergen-producing flora, every region in the U. S. offers it own unique aggravations for your histamine supply. Moreover, rising temperatures across the globe have lengthened spring and summer at both ends, creating an allergy season that begins as early as February and lasts as late as November, depending on where you live. If you travel cross-country frequently and suffer from seasonal allergies, God help you: your allergy season is basically ten months long. Bhagavadanugra-hapraptirastu! indeed.