What is a Sankalpa?

April 5, 2018

Sankalpa is a sanskrit term meaning an intention or resolve, formed by the heart and mind. A sankalpa can be called an intention, or a resolve, or a determination. The use of an sankalpa is unique to the practice of Yoga Nidra. A sankalpa is set either by the teacher or individual and repeated throughout the practice. A sankalpa defines how you want to live your life, who you want to be, and to steer your life in the direction you want to head. It permeates your life and how you direct your life. It is a way to specifically target and shift physical, mental and emotional holdings (blocks) and limiting beliefs, that compromise your life and wellbeing. We can create a sankalpa to focus and harmonise mind and body, and to consciously shift our state of being.

Energy follows attention, “where your mind goes, energy flows”. The purpose of a sankalpa in Yoga Nidra is to direct the mind and your energy to accomplish a resolve that is for your greater good and higher purpose in reaching your infinite potential, rather than live in autopilot or in the past with fears, limiting beliefs, behaviours and habits. The use of a sankalpa in Yoga Nidra targets the Bliss body (anadamaya kosha), which effects the other koshas through our thoughts, words and actions, which helps us to live in alignment with our truth, and then enables being ‘in flow’.

A sankalpa in Yoga Nidra differs from a goal as its more of a tool to help us in the direction and mastery of our life without the attachment of the end result, it’s more about directing your attention where you want your energy to flow. So rather than focusing on what you don’t have or what you don’t like, you focus your energy on what is right, for example if you’re stressed about a lack of something in your life, you put your attention and focus on seeing, feeling, knowing the opposite such as abundance in your life, and when you do this your attention and energy redirects from the perceived obstacle to placing energy on what you want to create, and then by default you create an alternative pathway. When you focus on the alternative, the perceived obstacle is still there, but’s it’s effect is diminished in light of what you are moving toward. In Yoga Nidra the use of a sankalpa enables us to rewire the minds deeply ingrained memories/impressions (samskaras) that lead to limiting beliefs, fears and blockages. Through the conscious placement of an sankalpa within the Bliss body via Yoga Nidra we enable our potentiality into existence.

There are two types of sankalpa:

Primary – is a statement of who you are, it’s a mission statement for your life.

Secondary – is used to clear what is blocking the way to fully experience your primary intention, i.e. external issues of health, survival, livelihood and environment.

How to create a sankalpa:

* It resonates with your sense of self: it’s a direction not a destination, if words don’t resonate, use images for visualisation
* It is in the present: as if you are experiencing it in the now, no attachment to an end result
* It is positive: in present tense, concise and empowering
* The focus is on you:  keep it short and simple

Examples of a sankalpa:

“I am at peace with myself as I am”

“I am filled with divine compassion”

“I let go and trust”

Tune into yourself to explore your hearts desire, it’s a reflection of your deeper truth. If nothing comes to mind at first allow that to be your sankapla until it naturally forms for you.

Yoga Nidra: The Art of Letting Go Series


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