What is Sankalpa?

Sankalpa is a sanskrit word which means an intention formed by the heart and mind. A Sankalpa is a resolution  which is made at the beginning of yoga practice, meditation or even as we start our day. The idea of repeating a sankalpa is to create the life we are meant to embrace and enjoy.

When made on a mind that is calm and relaxed, the sankalpa is impressed on the subconscious mind. It is like sowing seeds into our subconscious mind, knowing that when the time is right and when we are ready, we will receive it!!

Going beyond resolutions

A lot of us have monthly goals or we all are well aware of New year resolutions. But, due to lack of willpower or consistency, our resolutions are withered away.

According to Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist and teacher in the Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir nondual traditions, a sankalpa arrives with everything needed to fully realize it. This includes iccha (tremendous will and energy), kriya (action), and jnana (the wisdom of how to deliver that action). Miller says. “You don’t have to ask where you’ll find the will to do it. The energy and will is already there. The sankalpa informs us of the action we’re willing to take into the world.”

How do we use Sankalpa

Our resolution is always stated in the present tense. If we state it in the future, it will always be there. There needs to be consistency, we cannot keep changing our resolve every week. It’s like a baby that needs to be nurtured. Sankalpa shakti is the strengthening of our resolve by focusing our energies towards it. We can use affirmations and visualisation to strengthen our resolve.

A Sankalp is not a wish or a prayer. It is an intention and a vow to take actions to get to our goal. In the practice of yoga nidra, we are reminded that “Anything in your life can fail you, but not your sankalpa!!”

Iti Jain