Sankalpa refers to the yogic intention or resolution, which in yoga is considered to be a very powerful force and a very important step to successfully reaching our goals.
Sankalpa could be defined as the determination to become something or to do something in your life. It is a seed of intention which you create and then sow in the bed of your mind; when the mind is clear, the sankalpa grows very well.
But just like a seed, the sankalpa must be sown in the right conditions and when the soil is fertile. We all know that, in nature, not all seeds grow. Any adverse conditions, such as the wrong type of soil or the wrong amount of water and sunshine, could kill it.
So how do we go about planting our sankalpa so that it grows to fruit?
The sankalpa must be planted when the mind is relaxed and ready to accept and absorb it into itself, just like the soil when it is soft and fertile. We can achieve the right state of mind to set such intention during the practice of yoga nidra, which could be defined as conscious deep sleep.
Yoga nidra is typically practised to bring us to a state of deep relaxation and enhance our concentration in preparation for meditation. However, the deep relaxation techniques for body and mind of yoga nidra can also be used to prepare us for sankalpa.
The sankalpa must be planted with strong willpower and feeling. In many traditions, manifestation is considered to be the result of our thinking, willing and feeling, with feeling being the most powerful force. The feeling must be with such conviction, as if it has already happened, “It is done.” Having said that, never underestimate the power of your thoughts and feelings and how they contribute to what you experience in your day-to-day life.
Once it has been properly sown, anything in life can fail you but not your sankalpa. You will literally have it at the back of your mind as the directing force in all the things you do. Success is inevitable.
You may be wondering what kind of intentions one may sow? Could it be to become rich, or famous, or to be married? Is it to stop smoking? Such intentions are also good, however sankalpa is so intensely powerful that you may wish to save it for a quality that will help you become the highest potential of yourself in this life, regardless of your material circumstances; this is yoga.
Here are some examples; read them slowly, and see if there are any that resonate particularly with you:
GRATITUDE – LOVE – SERVICE –
UNDERSTANDING – CLARITY – COURAGE –
PRESENCE – BALANCE – SERENITY –
JOY – FREEDOM – CREATIVITY –
INTUITION – EQUANIMITY – HEALING
If it helps you, write down your intention where you will see it every day. Check back after a while and see if you have made progress towards your goal. Feel inspired!
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