Mom-asana: Setting Your Intention for the New Year

As a mother, Janet Stone uses the end of the year as a time to tune back into her sankalpa—her heart’s deepest longing, her intention.
Janet Stone in Low Lunge, anjaneyasana

Internationally recognized yoga teacher and mother of two Janet Stone, who will lead our upcoming Yoga for Moms online course (enroll now and be the first to know when this mom-inspired course launches), is offering YJ readers a series of weekly "mom-asanas" for strength, fitness, and grounding. This week's practice: Setting your intention, or sankalpa, for the new year.

In the course of one year, we’re offered so many marker points that allow us to take stock of where we are and to make sure our actions are aligning with our intentions, our dreams, and our heart's longing. Often, when I do this I’m surprised at how some experiences feel magically aligned with my desires, and how far off the mark I’ve gone in other areas.

As a mother, I use the end of the year as a time to tune back into my sankalpa—my heart’s deepest longing, my intention. I clarify my sankalpa again so that I can set my course for the new year ahead, course correct where I’ve veered off my path, and celebrate the ways in which I’ve found an even more beautiful, healing, powerful path.

Practice: Ask 3 Questions

As the new year approaches, I suggest taking some time to chat with your loved ones and asking them these three questions:

1. In what ways do you see me flourishing as an individual and as a parent?
2. In what ways do you see me struggling as an individual and as a parent?
3. What do you imagine would support me in____(fill in this blank for yourself)?

After that, set aside a little time to write out your big dreams and hopes and your smaller visions for the more immediate future. Consider the ways in which you can align your actions to be in service of these goals. Then, for a week, find 5–9 minutes in each day to sit quietly in contemplation, holding the sankalpa as your focal point.

Mom-asana of the Week

The pose for sankalpa is an open heart. A true "heart opener" is the energetic alignment of a heart that is open to all sides … ancestors and history and receptivity in the back, this moment on either side, and all the possibilities in front. It is openness to giving and receiving. You can find it in a Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana), allowing the shin to deepen into the earth. The stability from the earth will convey itself to the heart as trust, allowing it to open. Let the shoulders soften and openness flow all around.

San Francisco-based yoga teacher Janet Stone started her practice at age 17. A student of Max Strom and meditation teacher Prem Rawat, Stone teaches vinyasa flow at events around the world. Her new kirtan album with DJ Drez, Echoes of Devotion, hit number 1 on iTunes’s World Music chart this year. Stone has two daughters and offers this advice to moms: “Motherhood offers infinite lessons in the realms of surrender, empowerment, grace, mistakes, and patience, and then some more patience—as well as the endless unfurling of transitions and change. Practicing yoga amidst this adventure can support us in myriad ways to find our center.” Learn more about her upcoming course, Yoga for Moms.