Iccha Shakti – Power of Will
Imagine the wisest, most enlightened being out there with all the clarity and consciousness imaginable, exists. This person or being has studied the Sutras and knows their Dharma (as well as Artha, Kama and Moksha for that matter) but “can’t be asked” to put that knowledge to use and reach for enlightenment. Such a waste. Such is the importance of Iccha Shakti.
I always loved the Spanish word for this idea of will, it is called “ganas”, better translated as desire. A Yogi with no power of will (Iccha Shakti) is wasting their time. It takes a bit of work, a bit of “ganas” to even come close to a balanced life or the unicorn of enlightenment. To test your will, I will give you a mathematical formula for those that want to do the work:
A +B > C where –
- A = intention of desire
- B = intensity of energy
- C = resistance/obstacles
Added bonus to this practice – The above formula is the secret to life. Your intention of desire plus the intensity of energy you put into it, must be greater than the resistance you may internally have or the obstacles you may face. You must have the will to overcome the obstacles or you will never get over them. This is the power behind Iccha Shakti. If we are true to our practice, the goal of the activity is to embody all our experiences, be touched by the natural joy of being alive and embrace the shadow side without turning away. Iccha Shakti provides that energy to turn to what is arising, the challenge of being in the moment with whatever is present in a tender detachment.
SO that is all fine and good, but you may be an over-achiever, or a high-powered go-getter (lot of hyphens there). You may have no problem with lack of will and desire to overcome obstacles. You may have ganas oozing from your pores, well slow down there turbo. Its all about balance, or as I like to call it, the middle path. Hatha Yoga Pradipika warns “Graha Niyama” not to take things to an extreme that becomes an unhealthy motivation, an obsession that leads to self-abuse. This is where the Shaktis all come together and Yoga/Union loses its cliched identity.
All that vital energy (Prana) we will be cultivating in this practice needs a clear origin and purpose (see CIT Shakti) and a balanced approach by setting intentions (Jnana Shakti) and acknowledging just where that (hyper-, for the highly hyphenated) motivation might be best focused.
Remember that vital energy we call Prana has 5 steps –
1. Activation 2. Churning 3. Ignition 4. Concentration 5. Directing
Once you have harnessed the Power of Will (Iccha Shakti) those five steps must be rooted in the power of effective intention, a divine urge to create through joyous self-expression and a bright fire of energy to move toward what is most valuable and life-affirming to us.