At this time of year many people turn to resolutions for self-improvement in an area of life. The sankalpa of the Vedic philosophy is the resolution to fulfil your dharma, your ultimate and noble aim for being on this earth. Your sankalpa forms a statement about something you want to become or achieve. This sankalpa is a firm resolve, this is not a wishful statement, but a deeper intent for purpose.
Sankalpa is derived from two words –
San which can mean good, deeper in feeling is the idea conceived in your heart.
Kapla is the rule to be followed above all others
So sankalpa could be said to be the rule set by your heart’s intent to fulfil your purpose in this life. It may take the form of a heartfelt intention, or a specific action. You need to believe in your sankalpa. This may mean actioning smaller steps to achieve your ultimate goal. In this way you may have a long term sankalpa that is supported by shorter-term goals. Think of this as project managing your way to your ultimate goal. Whilst developing your sankalpa, or resolve think about the outcome of what you want to achieve as well as what you will do to make it happen.
When framing your sankalpa, write your intention in the present tense. This is something that is now, not in a perceived future. For example if you have made a new year’s resolution to stop smoking rather than stating ‘I will stop smoking’, you would state ‘I am a non-smoker’.
Now, ask yourself why you have chosen that resolution or sankalpa. When you have your answer, ask why again. Repeat this process at least five times. If you have resolved to stop smoking your why may be because it is expensive and bad for you. Ask why again. Maybe it is affecting your health obviously or you want to save the money for a holiday. Asking why again might reveal that you want to be able to wake up without coughing, or find more energy to play with your children/grandchildren. Asking why again may reveal a deeper purpose of being as healthy as you can for a longer and more fulfilling life with the people that you love most.
Your sankalpa would then transform from being ‘I am a non-smoker’ to something more like ‘I choose to live a healthy life and to spend my time and finances in support of this’. See how your new statement fits and whether it feels more purposeful.
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Contact me for a free 15 minute deep dive into framing your sankalpa.
Katie @ Petalouda Yoga & Wellbeing
Katie is an holistic health coach. She combines yoga therapy, ayurvedic health & lifestyle advice, and the use of essential oils with her naturally intuitive healing gift to offer a rounded package of care to her clients.