Discover the Power of Sankalpa in Your daily Life

A new year brings with it new intentions. I love nothing more than starting the year feeling refreshed with a clear and focused mindset. I spend time to reflect and review the year gone and re-evaluate my aims and intentions for the year ahead. This includes, looking at my universal Sankalpa and seeing if I’m still aligned with its intent. I also like to set a small Sankalpa for the year ahead. I put my trust in the power of Sankalpa over that of a new year resolution because Sankalpa comes from what my heart truly desires. It comes from my true nature.

In this article I’ll explain more about the power of Sankalpa and how you can use it in daily life.

What is Sankalpa (Resolve) and how does it work.

The Sankalpa is often described as a resolve, an affirmation, your deepest intention. It is a Sanskrit word that translates as SAN: Your highest truth. KALPA: Vow. A vow that is above any other rule, the Sankalpa is a commitment to honour your highest inner most truth.

This is very different to the driving force of a new year’s resolution that stems from a ‘individual will.’ As a society we are very often blinded by our external environment, influenced by our conditioning, or the point of view of our ego.

We’re all familiar of using this landmark  to set a new year resolution, to eliminate any bad habits and establish new, healthier ones. “ I want to lose weight,I’m going to exercise more.” Focusing on the assumption that the new year resolution is fixing something, “ I am not good enough therefore I need to….

The sad truth is that only 9% of people achieve their new year resolutions, mainly because they lose motivation.

The Sankalpa stands apart from a New Year’s Resolution for its deeper lasting effects, but importantly because it connects you deeper to your heart’s deepest heartfelt desire.  I’ve heard it described beautifully as a ‘universal will.’ It is an incredibly powerful tool that helps to support both inner and outer change. To guide your direction in life, the choices you make by speaking to your inner most truth. For this very reason it’s important to take time to reflect upon what it is your heart truly wants.

How to know what you truly want.

It all starts by listening. Spend some quiet time to reflect on what it is you want.  What are you seeking in life? You can do this reflection through journaling, allow you thoughts to flow from your mind onto paper. You’ll be surprised how the words flow and what your inner voice has to say through this technique!

Meditation is practice that not only offers incredible health benefits, it’s also an ideal practice for self-reflection. There is a wonderful technique called SWAN. This is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Aims (ambitions or desires) and Needs. It is a meditation that encourages you too look deeply at different aspects of your life.

To practice SWAN you spend time reflecting in meditation on a question or statement… it could be “what is my purpose?” or a question around your career, health, family, or relationships. Then you journal on each individual point starting with your deepest desires or “aims.” then your needs, your strengths and finally weaknesses.

Ram and I practise SWAN meditation at the start of the year to reaffirm our intentions for the year and look at our individual Sankalpa.

You always get the answer, whether you chose to believe it or not!!

journal to discover the sankalpa
How to structure your Sankalpa.

 From your inner enquiry, you will have an answer to what it is you are seeking to change, or how you would like to feel in your life.

Perhaps there is some health benefits you are seeking in your life? Maybe you are looking to reduce stress, overwhelm or anxiety? A new career direction, achieve life goal?

Your personal Sankalpa takes the form of a short positive present tense statement or sentence. A declaration or affirmation such as “peace is my true nature,” rather than the ego driven “I want peace in my life.”⁠

If you seek to improve health… Your sankalpa could be.. “My body is healthy,” Or “I am in good health,” rather than “I want to lose 5kgs.”

It is important to remember to state the outcome, the absolute” “I am…” “I will… vs “I would like…

If you want to stop smoking, your sankalpa could be… “I am free from addiction” vs “I would like to give up smoking.”

Sankalpa in yoga nidra
How to use your Sankalpa in daily life.

When you repeat an affirmation regularly, it will bring positivity into your life. Just like an affirmation, your Sankalpa can be used in daily. Think of it as your inner voice of guidance.

Repeat it a few times when you wake up to extend its positive intention to influence your day ahead.

You can repeat your Sankalpa at the beginning or end of your meditation and yoga practice.

Another way to bring it into your daily life is to write it down and place it somewhere you will see it regularly. I like to keep my Sankalpa private; it is sacred just for me. So if you do write it down, do so where only you will see it.

But the true power of Sankalpa is found in the practice of Yoga Nidra…

Sankalpa in Yoga Nidra.

I was first introduced to Sankalpa during the practice of Satyananda Yoga Nidra. At first, I had no understanding of what it was or how it worked.

At the beginning of the practice as your mind begins to withdraw from external stimuli you repeat your Sankalpa to ‘plant the seed’ of positivity or desired change. As you progress through the practice of Yoga Nidra you are taken into the deep state of relaxation. It is at this point that you ‘water the seed‘ that you planted at the beginning of the practice, by repeating your Sankalpa a further three time into the subconscious mind.

The mind is very receptive to positive thoughts and suggestions in this state of deep relaxation. Using the Sankalpa you are in effect re-conditioning your mind, sowing the seeds of a tree that will eventually bare the fruits in your life.

Final thoughts.

It is very important when you repeat your Sankalpa, you do so with the same feeling, purpose, and conviction as when you first created it. Over time and through regular practice, know that it will come to fruition.

I’d like to leave you with this quote from our teacher Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati…

“Sankalpa is not only a thought, it is a power, a force…What you express leaves an impression on the channel in the mind and waves are transmitted. If there is an intensity behind a thought, behind a Sankalpa, behind a resolution, then the channel selector, the imprint on the mind, will be stronger and you will be able to access that channel more frequently and easily. Sankalpa is not just a wish; it is a conviction. It is faith in oneself, faith that one can do it.”  Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, Love and Sankalpa, YOGA, January 2005

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also like…

Why we love Yoga Nidra

How to add meditation into your daily routine.

What does cultivate the witness mean?

You can also access a free 20 minutes yoga nidra practice by clicking the link below.

Ultimate relaxation technique – Free 20 minute Yoga Nidra Practice

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