By Joana Mendes
Devon School of Yoga , Yoga Teacher Training Graduate
PLEASE NOTE: This piece is not academic. Rather it is a personal reflection.
What is this burning desire, this unintentional intention that appears from within? Often hard to grasp, muffled by the noise of other goals chosen to be put into place. Such aspirations may be misaligned with true intention, or śiva saṃkalpa.
Quite honestly, I’ve always struggled with the question ‘what’s your saṃkalpa, your intention?’. ‘I don’t know’, I’d silently repeat to myself. It felt like navigating an abyss in my own mind. ‘I don’t know, and not knowing makes me feel uncomfortable’, I’d notice after a while. And then ‘I don’t know, and I’m at ease with not knowing’. I’m only beginning to tap into what saṃkalpa means to me, beyond the intention put forward at the start of each Yoga practice. Saṃkalpa derives from the saṃskṛt root kṛḷp, which is the only root in the language with the letter ḷṛ. This letter is known as ‘the mother of the Gods’ and it is associated with the element earth. Saṃkalpa can be resembled to a seed planted into the earth, with a capacity to grow from the depths of our resolution. And yet this growth can be boundless, morphing again from a perceived goal (from a perceived sense of self) onto an ungraspable motivation.