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Updated: Jun 11

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What is a Sankalpa?

You may have heard me discuss this term in a class or circle. Sankalpa is a Sanskrit term in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire, an intention, or a resolve to do something.

It comes from deep within and tends to be an affirmation. It’s created from a deeper sense of knowing within the body

This term comes from the Sanskrit roots and translates to denote an affirming resolve to do something or achieve something spiritual.

Rod Stryker, a World renowned meditation teacher and yoga educator explains that kalpa means vow, or “the rule to be followed above all other rules.” San, he says, refers to a connection with the highest truth.

Sankalpa, then, is a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth. It should honour the deeper meaning of our lives. The sankalpa becomes a statement you can call upon to remember your true nature and guide you to the steps that are in alignment with your purpose.

While a typical New Year’s resolution is often abandoned within weeks, as enthusiasm and willpower run out, a sankalpa doesn’t require the ego-driven willpower we typically try to summon to make changes.

Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist and teacher in the Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir nondual traditions explains, a Sankalpa arrives with everything needed to fully realise it. This includes iccha (tremendous will and energy), kriya (action), and jnana (the wisdom of how to deliver that action).

He says, “These are all aspects of the Divine, and they live within us. When the true Sankalpa comes in, we awaken these three qualities of the Divine,” he continues “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.”

In order to create a Sankalpa, first, you must realise that it will change with time. You may follow one Sankalpa for a week, and another one for ten years, it all depends on how you choose to work with it and what arises for you.

Begin by dropping the following question into your heart. It may help to get out a journal to contemplate your answer.

What is my soul’s deepest desire at this moment?

You may hear a little mind chatter, but generally the first and most prominent words are THE Sankalpa. But just sit for a while and allow it to land. A Sankalpa should be in the present, stated as if the desire is a fact.

Examples of this are

Desire: manifest a heart-centred romantic relationship

Sankalpa: I feel deeply loved and fulfilled in my relationship with my partner.

Desire: transition to a more fulfilling career

Sankalpa: I wake up excited for work and I go to bed feeling fulfilled every day.

Desire: attain a higher level of inner peace

Sankalpa: I feel deeply peaceful every day.

Sankalpa is a much deeper, more conscious and Spiritual awareness of how to work with our desires, goals, dreams and manifestations.

If you’ve been setting goals your entire life, you may benefit from working with Yoga Nidra and Sankalpa instead. Where goals fail to rewire the subconscious mind, Sankalpas step in to clear blocks that stand between you and the highest version of yourself.

Join me in class or in ESSENCE Circle to learn how to work with your very own Sankalpa.

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