Sankalpa or yogic resolution
7 secrets to making it right
Tried making resolutions before and didn't stick to them? Don't be disappointed. Let's make resolutions the yogic way! I'd like to share a yogic method that has been used for centuries and 7 yogic secrets that will make your resolutions stick! Seriously, it works! My numerous friends and yoga students are proof that it does.
In yogic science, all the terms are given in Sanskrit, an ancient language of wisdom. The Sanskrit word for resolution is «sankalpa», which can be also translated as an affirmation or a positive mental statement. I would like to use the word «sankalpa» rather than «resolution» as there are some important differences between the two - that make sankalpa very successful and conventional resolution, not so much.
How to choose and formulate my sankalpa?
1. The correct formulation of sankalpa is critical to the success of its practice. So it is worth taking some time over this process. Make an appointment with yourself to sit alone in a quiet place. Reflect on the past and dream about the future. Think about what areas of your life you would like to improve, how you might want your personality to change, as well as about your goals and the purpose of your life. Write it down. You could be aiming at very specific goals or formulating how you would like to feel in general.
2. Next, you want to choose what's most important out of all the goals listed and formulate just one sentence that will get you to where you want to be. There should be only ONE sankalpa that should aim at ONE goal only. Yes, only ONE. Go for quality, not quantity. Any fisherman knows you can't catch two fish on the same hook! The same way you don't want to de-focus the power of your mind. However, this one sentence can be formulated so skilfully that it will bring all your needed changes in life.
3. To create your own sankalpa, don't just ask WHAT you want to achieve - ask WHY? For example, if you want to have more money, go beyond saying, "I want to have more money because I need to buy a house." Connect to something deeper. What's behind your desire for more money? Say, your answer is to feel more confident / secure / at peace with yourself, then your sankalpa should include the state of «feeling confident / secure / at peace with myself » rather than a wish of «getting more money».
When you clarify the "why" behind what you want you'll feel much more driven and connected to your goal. Also, working on self-confidence might not only manifest more money into your life but also improve your relationships. The same way, working on security or feeling at peace with yourself might not only bring more money but it might help you to get connected to the Earth, your family, your inner self, and the life flow itself. So the result might be greater than the original goal!
4. The sankalpa should be short. The wording should not change, even if the meaning stays the same. If you are bilingual, you also need to fix the language of the resolve. Whichever phrase and language you choose, it should always be the same, until the sankalpa is fulfilled.
5. The sankalpa should be made in the first person by using "I" or "my". Completely different from a prayer in this sense, your sankalpa must involve you only and cannot help to change something in another person. However it definitely can be formulated to change your attitude towards the situation around that person.
6. The sankalpa must be joyous in its essence and therefore "not/don't/won't/can't" and other negative words should not be used. For example, if you desire to recover from a medical condition it should not be structured as "I am not sick"; instead a positive statements such as "My physical body is healthy and strong" or "I enjoy perfect health" can be used. Only positive language should be used.
7. It should be stated in the present tense as if it has come to fruition already. For instance, not «I will enjoy perfect health » but "I enjoy perfect health". However, if you have some serious illness, saying "I enjoy perfect health" might sound too fake to you to experience positive feelings when you pronounce it - which is essential! But more on that in my next article. In this case you might need to modify it to «I choose to enjoy perfect health». It takes off the resistance, yet it's much more powerful than saying «I will enjoy perfect health» (the last version usually never comes to the now because it will always stay in the future in your mind).
|I am at peace with myself by Jason V Lu|
Let me give you another example: The statement "I will not be smoking in 3 months" is not a good sankalpa to stop smoking (negative + future tense). A better statement could be "I am free of addiction" but it contains the negative word «addiction» and has a limited therapeutic aim. By looking deeper at the roots of the problem and widening the understanding of the inner causes, one might come to a stronger and more efficient sankalpa such as "I am at peace with myself», "I am secure in myself", «I resolve to take care of my body and accept it as it is today», «I trust that my Higher Self fulfils all my needs»", "I am open to share my truth and integrity with the world», «With playfulness and humour, I raise my vibration in the world», etc.
You are welcome to read some examples of sankalpas that I offer for each chakra (energy centre) on my website here. In any of the chakra articles where you find suggested sankalpas at the end, just choose one sankalpa that appeals to you most.
During my yoga lessons I usually recommend starting with a simple sankalpa, "I am at peace with myself". The need for inner peace is often the «WHY» behind many desires. People might want all sorts of different things in life - to lose weight, to find a loving partner, to be healthy, wealthy, joyful, generous, etc. But deep inside it's all for the sake of feeling at peace with themselves. By re-connecting to inner peace, we can more successfully achieve goals and re-shape our direction in life for the better - which eventually leads to greater inner peace, balance, happiness and fulfilment. That's why «I am at peace with myself» is my all-time favourite sankalpa.
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