Sowing the seed, Sankalpa
Sankalpa is often asked about by those who hear the word for the first time during Yoga Nidra. ‘What was that thing you said, that word… I can’t remember…’ My free Yoga Nidra is a short form, so does not have Sankalpa. My Yoga Nidra with Sankalpa is available here. I often describe it as a positive statement of intent, to give clear direction to the energy of the mind. To achieve that which you wish to manifest in your circumstance. Succinct, positive, statement. Translated it means resolution, or resolve.
Satyananda suggests that ‘If you know what you wish to achieve in life, Sankalpa can be the creator of your destiny’, and, ‘Anything in life can fail you, but not the Sankalpa made during Yoga Nidra’. He has also said that, in Yoga Nidra, it may be ‘the most effective means of training the mind’. At a time when you are in a less intellectual mode, the mind is calm, the Sankalpa can go deep and have effect. Yoga Nidra time. Just before and just after the practice, it is mentioned to repeat your Sankalpa. Satyananda also says, ‘The resolve you make at the beginning of the practice is like sowing a seed, and the resolve at the end is like irrigating it’.
If you practice yoga (which includes Yoga Nidra and meditation) making efforts toward a steady calm bodymind, then Sankalpa will have more force and be able to penetrate more deeply than when the mind is dissipated. The state of Yoga Nidra is the state in which the mind can receive your Sankalpa. Satyananda again,’Each of us has the power to remould our own mental structure’, ‘no fear or obsession is so deep rooted that it cannot be changed’.
It needs to not be an intellectual affair. It needs to be repeated with a sense of willpower and feeling in order for it to go deep. This combination gives the Sankalpa ‘the juice’, more energy, than a mere intellectual knowing of what the Sankalpa you have chosen is.
It is easy for the intellect, if void of experience, to disregard the importance or potency of this aspect of practice, as there seems no tangible way of Sankalpa having any effect. The mental repetition of Sankalpa is a movement of energy. You might consider/contemplate, that where there is consciousness there is energy, and vice versa. Affect one, and you affect the other. Once you have experienced the Sankalpa coming to fruition, there is no mistake. You know. You cannot beat experiential knowledge, the facts are before your eyes, and what seemed to be an intangible thing has become manifest and shown the effect of the cause. This has been my, and many others’, experience.
So, it is a resolve thought of by yourself, and you keep it to yourself. Don’t change it, until it comes to fruition. It is helpful to know your direction when making a Sankalpa. In Swami Satyananda’s words it is ‘a determination to become something or to do something in your life’, that is made alive by repeating it mentally during Yoga Nidra with strength of will and feeling.
What strengthens your will power and your internal feeling capacity? A topic for another post maybe…
What is your Sankalpa? (no, don’t tell me)
Where I have quoted Swami Satyananda, it has been from his book, Yoga Nidra.