Sankalpa is a very powerful yoga practice which allows you to tap into your subconscious to find and reach your deepest and true desire. Practiced correctly, it allows each of us to reach our full potential.
Happiness is not found by working at a job you don't enjoy, however well paid it is! It isn't found by gorging on sugary cakes, or by filling your house with possessions.
Happiness is found by doing the things you were put on earth to do. Your subconscious knows what those things are; by delving into your subconscious and discovering your passion you will be able to create positive change in your life.
Use this guide and recordings to follow the steps to this magical practice.
The Definition of Insanity
The definition of insanity is to repeat the same things and expect a different result. Each New Year, many of us set a New Year resolution, framed with the words "I will ....".
"I will exercise more", "I will eat more healthily", "I will be kinder to my mother/sister/workmate". Resolutions made with the best intentions, but what happens? You believe you can reach this goal and imagine how much happier you will feel when it has been achieved. Then, two weeks later it has been forgotten, or if not forgotten, it has been put in the too hard basket. Usually discarded because it hasn't worked, you have slipped up and are disillusioned with the thought that you can effect change in your life.
You make the pledge to change your habits and way of life, but fail over and over again. Still you make another resolution the next year and fail again. Insanity!
The Yoga Alternative
Yoga teaches us that there is a difference between hoping to do or be something in the future, or feeling that we are the "new improved me" right now.
In yoga, you resolve to create your new reality by picturing yourself embodying the change you want to see. Yoga doesn't dwell on what is wrong, it gives you the ability to believe in yourself, to believe in the new you. By making the right resolution, which is your true nature and true path in life, you succeed.
This resolve is called Sankalpa in yoga.
You don't need to wait for the new year to arrive to change your life using the practice of Sankalpa, you can start any time. The sooner you start, the sooner you will begin to see change.
This may sound a little difficult to begin with. How do you start? Just stay with me, there are steps to follow. These steps will show you a simple way to use your own intuition to create your ideal life.
It is best to start with small steps, small changes, then work up to the bigger changes you find you want to make.
The Steps to Samadhi through Sankalpa!
There is an easy process to discover your Sankalpa, your deepest and true desire. You will discover your Sankalpa and use it during the deep yoga relaxation practice of Yoga Nidra, when your body and mind are relaxed and receptive to change.
The process allows you to picture yourself as the change you want to see in your life.
In yoga, we work towards our true nature, the Dharma we know is within us, which has become hidden by conditioning, expectations, false priorities and fears.
By formulating your Sankalpa and focussing on bringing it to fruition, one step at a time, you can reach your true Dharma. You become the person you want to be, the person who has become hidden by conditioning. You learn to channel the divine energy in your body, a very powerful process, but available to each and every person by using the tools of yoga.
Yoga means union, or yoke, to join together. We join together our body and mind, or our mind and spirit, or all three. We can use the Sankalpa to create a life full of our Dharma, our true intentions.
The ultimate aim of the Sankalpa is to honour the true divine meaning of your life, your highest intention. It is a commitment to change. By repeating your Sankalpa, preferably daily, you allow it to become a part of your being. It doesn't get forgotten and discarded like your New Year resolutions. The repeated statement reminds you of your true intentions and helps to guide your choices.
As the Sankalpa is a statement of your true intentions, it doesn't need a lot of effort to become a part of your life. It doesn't need to be announced or discussed with others. In fact, it is advisable to keep your Sankalpa to yourself.
Types of Sankalpa
A Sankalpa can be in the form of a direction you want to take in your life, or it can be in the form of a heartfelt desire. You start by working on directions in your life, and as your life changes and evolves, and you learn more about how this process works, you create your heartfelt desires.
Sankalpa starts with small steps. The direction you want to take in life can be broken down. You may start with statements such as "I make healthy choices", "I use my time wisely", "I take care with my words". Then when you see this becoming part of your day to day life, you move on with more focussed statements such as "My body exudes health and vitality", "I have a successful business", "I inspire others by my example".
The heartfelt desire reflects your own true nature. It doesn't actually require you to change, it allows you to recognise the true nature that has become hidden by the busyness and expectations of life. "I embody peace and tranquillity", "Compassion is my true nature", "I am whole and healed".
These statements become a reminder not to lose track of who you really are. The first type of Sankalpa, the direction, allows you to move towards the life you want in a deliberate manner. Seeing each step reached will inspire you to keep moving forward. Recognising your heartfelt desire allows you to reach your full potential.
Discover Your Sankalpa
Perhaps the most difficult part of this whole process seems to be how to work out what your Sankalpa should be. Use the "Discover your Sankalpa" track which will provide you with a tool to work with that will allow your Sankalpa to reveal itself.
It involves listening to yourself, allowing your true desires to bubble up to the surface. You need to be open to the process and be patient with yourself.
As the Sankalpa is actually your own true desire it can be discovered by tapping into your subconscious mind and asking yourself "What do I really want?". The answer is allowed to arise without the questioning mind stepping in to get in the way.
If you simply ask yourself this when in a fully awake state, self-doubt tends to get in the way and sabotage the answer. The little self-doubter sitting on your shoulder comes up with all the reasons you can't make the change "you're not good enough", "you're not clever enough", "you don't deserve that".
Sometimes you may formulate a Sankalpa and after a few days find it has become obvious that it isn't the right one for you right now. That is not a problem, as it most likely means you have recognised a Sankalpa that is more meaningful for you and you can start to use that. If that's not the case, simply go back through the process to discover your new Sankalpa.
Other times you might hear your Sankalpa and reject it as the change it requires feels difficult. Maybe you enjoy the jam doughnuts too much and don't want to commit to making healthy choices! When this occurs, it is best to just try it out. After a few days you may find that the desire for jam doughnuts has disappeared – or you may decide to work on another area of your life for the time being.
The Sankalpa is not meant to be used for material gains. It is not "I own the latest, flashiest car" or "I have the most beautiful partner". These are egotistical aims, not the wisdom of your being.
To help find your Sankalpa, when something arises that you are not sure about, try to picture the change it will make in your life. If you own the latest, flashiest car will it really improve your life? Will it lead to an awakening to your true identity? Or is it something that you feel will make you look good in the eyes of others?
If you know you need to make a change to give something up in your life, like gambling or drinking alcohol, ask yourself what the end result will be. Perhaps it will allow you to be more relaxed, or healthier. Maybe there is an underlying pain that is causing these habits, and you can work on resolving that pain. The habits may have evolved through a feeling of worthlessness and your Sankalpa could be "I am worthy and loved".
As you recognise your Sankalpa as your true nature, your Sankalpa should be worded in the present tense and as a positive statement. The phrase should be in the form "I am worthy and loved", not "I am working towards being worthy and lovable". This is how the power of Sankalpa works, we see it as true in the present moment. We recognise that our true nature just needs to be recognised, by ourselves. It is already within us, part of us, we are simply bringing it to the fore.
How the Sankalpa Process Works
The Sankalpa is uncovered and then embodied during the deep relaxation practice of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra will allow you to awaken to your true nature. You will be guided systematically through a series of steps to relax your body and mind. You will reach a state where you are quite disconnected from your usual bodily sensations and thoughts.
It is very easy as long as you listen and follow the instructions. Even if you feel like you fall asleep, you are in a very light sleep state and your mind is still receptive to the instructions and intentions.
During Yoga Nidra you will reach a hypnagogic state. This is the stage between wakefulness and sleeping, when the mind is in its most receptive state. The hypnagogic state can be used to change your way of thinking about yourself. It can also be used to enhance learning, but that will be covered later!
By repeating your Sankalpa during the hypnagogic state, you allow it to settle into your body and mind. You don't want to do that with a negative Sankalpa such as "I won't eat sugary food". That would just imprint "sugary food" into your mind. You want to implant the idea "I make healthy choices when I eat".
During Yoga Nidra you will be reminded to stay awake and aware, but sometimes this isn't achieved. Just trust the process, knowing that you are in a very receptive state.
Obstacles and Victories
Obstacles will arise when the conscious mind gets in the way, trying to thwart our best intentions. Sometimes it is others around us who feel threatened by seeing us change, scared that the change will turn us away from them, or feel jealous of our new happiness.
If you find yourself tempted to act against your Sankalpa, bring your Sankalpa to mind and repeat it to yourself. That may be enough to change your direction, sometimes it may not. If you find yourself acting against your Sankalpa, just watch with interest and see how you feel in the moment as you act against your true nature. Most often you will feel uncomfortable, or not enjoy the moment. Either way, bringing your Sankalpa to mind will be a reminder that may prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
As you become more relaxed and familiar with the process, by taking a few deep breaths, becoming aware of your breath in your body, by pausing for a few moments and reflecting on your Sankalpa, profound change will occur.
Celebrate victories. At the end of the day, review how your day has gone and look for moments when your Sankalpa has been effective. Think about how each positive event made you feel. Think about the changesListen to a sample or buy Relax Into Sleep download you have made and how you have progressed.