Taking a resolve or forming a sankalpa is a powerful technique to achieve your goals. Sankalpa is a secret weapon that, when tapped into, can drive you to achieve anything you want. It has the power to help you manifest your dreams. When you form a sankalpa, which is normally a positive resolve, you are sending your intention out into the universe. This already sets things in motion for you.
The challenge many of us face is how to form your resolve and how to stay motivated till you achieve it. Our monkey minds love to wander, so we need to train our minds to stay strong and stable. That’s where yoga comes in - to strengthen and balance the mind. When your mind is strong, the power of your sankalpa is stronger.
Sankalpa also acts as an effective tool to break away from past conditioning and make new changes that can take us further on the path of liberation. It helps to direct our actions and thoughts in a conscious manner as opposed to the set ways in which we are used to thinking and acting. So, how do you form a sankalpa?
Steps to form your Sankalpa this new year
- First meditate on what you truly desire or wish to achieve this year. Practice deep listening and introspection.
- Identify what resonates with you. What do you truly desire? What do you wish to spend your time and energy on?
- Set the intention and think like you already have it. For example, if your intention is to become fitter, you should think, ‘I am getting fitter by the day.’ Thinking that you have already achieved it is like sowing the seed for what you wish to grow.
- Now write down steps to act on it. After that, start following those steps!
- When repeating your sankalpa everyday, use the same words.
- Watch your resolve unfold in front of you!
Tips to form your Sankalpa
Start with something small. It could be simple positive habits like taking out 10-minutes a day to meditate. Start with taking a sankalpa to meditate before breakfast every morning. Try to do it everyday for 21-days or even 40-days (the recommended time it takes to form a habit). Maybe even schedule a live meditation class, which will help you stay accountable.
The key to transformation is regularly practicing what you wish to achieve. That’s how you can create a habit out of it. With regularity your body and mind will respond and change in ways you didn’t think were possible!
The best way to make a habit out of anything is to take the sankalpa to achieve it, no matter what. Many yogic practices like meditation, mantra chanting and yoga nidra also have a profound impact on strengthening the willpower and the power of your thoughts.
The first few days will be tough. You might struggle to keep up to it. But speak your resolve out loud. Try to practice at the same time and place for the first 21 or 40 days. Slowly, slowly, you will begin to notice it has become easier. Your mind has become stronger. You’ll begin to feel happier and that itself will encourage you to meditate everyday. You will soon begin to break away from old patterns and make way for new ones.
In the Bhagavad Gita, 6.23, 6.24, Sri Krishna says
“sa niścayēna yōktavyō yōgō anirviñaṇacētasā॥saṅkalpaprabhavānkāmānstyaktvā sarvānaśēṣataḥ।manasaivēndriyagrāmaṁ viniyamya samantataḥ॥”
One should engage oneself in the practice of yoga with unflinching determination and faith. Abandoning sense gratification and letting go of all attachments, one should restrain one’s senses and mind.
How to strengthen your resolve with yoga
Yoga’s guided relaxation or Yoga Nidra is one of the most powerful ways to strengthen your sankalpa. Yoga Nidra literally means yogic sleep. It taps into the conscious state between wakefulness and sleep. We all experience this in between states when we are about to fall asleep or just before completely waking up. For most of us it’s so brief that we don’t identify it as a separate state of consciousness.
Yoga Nidra consists of eight stages, and strengthening one’s sankala is one of the stages in the practice. Sankalpa is practiced twice in any session of Yoga nidra. Once at the beginning of the practice where the mind is still awake - called conscious Sankalpa and another time after the visualization stage, when the mind is in a subconscious state - called the subconscious Sankalpa.
You can also repeat your sankala just before waking up or at night before bedtime. Staying aware of what you have set your mind to while meditating or at the beginning of one’s practice also helps strengthen your resolve.
Sage Patanjali in Yoga Sutra states,“Tīvrasanvēgānāmāsannaḥ॥” Patanjali Yoga Sutras, 1.21
One who is firmly established in his practices with vigor and intensity reaches his goal before long.
How do goals and Sankalpa work together
While Sankalpa means resolve or determination to achieve a goal, sometimes it is defined as the goal itself. In yoga nidra it can mean both. Having a clear idea of one’s goal is itself an achievement. Following through on your goal is the other part of it. A seeker has to have enough determination to achieve these goals. Subconscious sankalpa becomes stable and deeply rooted in our minds while conscious sankalpa helps us stay focused and grounded with a sense of purpose.
Make the most of the new year by forming your resolve today. At Shvasa we have many challenges, webinars and events lined up for January to help you stay motivated and achieve your goals. Whether your goal is to lose weight, reduce stress, become more mindful, work on your fitness, etc. - we have got you covered. Take the first step, and our team will guide you through the rest. We promise you - it will change your life.