Live with heartfelt intention.
Have you ever felt that you are moving through life out of sync or in a different direction from your goals and dreams? Do you set resolutions that never last or give up before you achieve them?
When we are living out of sync with our dharma (purpose in life), constantly feeling as though we are not achieving our goals we are often left feeling tired, overwhelmed, and unfulfilled.
To help us live in greater harmony with our purpose, the yoga tradition offers the concept of Sankalpa.
Sankalpa: A resolve/intention formed in the heart.
Sankalpas and resolutions may appear similar at first glance, but let’s take a closer look at how they differ:
When we resolve to quit smoking, work less, practice more yoga/meditation, eat better, or reduce screen time, there is an underlying current of work and action required to achieve our goals. If we are not careful, we can allow our resolutions to be influenced by external factors, become fixated with the finish line, and lose sight of what really matters. The result? Even if we succeed we may still not feel fulfilled because what we were working towards wasn’t in service of our highest purpose.
A Sankalpa statement offers a gentle alternative to resolutions by first connecting us to our heart's deepest desire. When we take the time to connect to our hearts, we are reunited with the knowing that we are already whole and complete. From this more relaxed and empowered place, we recognize that the resolution to stop smoking stems from the desire to be healthy, and the goal of meditating more is deeply rooted in the desire to experience life from a peaceful place.
Six steps to unlock the power of your heart's deepest desire
Unveiling your heart's deepest desire to craft your Sankalpa statement can start simply by taking a moment to ask yourself “What do I want most out of life?”. If the mind is busy or caught up in the world your answers may be responses to the current situation, rather than your heart's deepest desire. So the invitation is to get quiet and to create space for the answer to arise from your heart.
Step 1 - Quiet your mind.
With a quiet mind, it is easier to hear the whispers of the heart. Consider mindful movement, meditation, time in nature, or Yoga Nidra. Any kind of practice that helps turn down the volume of the mind.
Step 2 – Self Inquiry
Established in a peaceful state of mind ask yourself “What is my heart's deepest desire?” or “What do I truly value most in this life?”
Feel how the answer radiates from your heart, a sense of deep knowing that lies beyond intellect. Then take time to sit with the answer and notice how you feel. Consider free journaling and allow your heart to pour onto paper.
Your heart's deepest desire is the foundation for your personal Sankalpa statement and it will invite you to tend to an area in your life that needs attention.
Step 3 – Craft Your Sankalpa
Create a simple yet potent statement that summarizes your heart's deepest desire.
Tips for your Sankalpa:
- Positive statement
- Present tense
- Personal (includes only you)
- Concise (short and simple)
- Believable (a greater part of you needs to believe it to be true)
“I am whole, healed, and healthy”
“I am the embodiment of inner peace”
“I am peaceful and at ease”
“ I meditate daily. I am thriving.”
Step 4 – Steep in your Sankalpa
Once you have crafted your Sankalpa statement, immerse yourself in it. What does life look like when you are deeply connected to your heart? How does it feel? Engage the senses and breathe life into your Sankalpa statement.
Let it marinate. Come back to it later (hours or days) and notice how it makes you feel. Does it bring you back to the moment when your heart's deepest desire was revealed to you? Take time to refine your Sankalpa statement until it truly depicts your heart’s deepest desire.
It's important to remember that your needs may change as time passes. Be sure to allow your Sankalpa to evolve with you so that it continues to resonate with your heart’s deepest desire.
Step 5 – Deepen your connection
Once you have established your statement choose a realistic timeframe (6-18 months) that you will spend nurturing your connection to your Sankalpa.
Step 6 – Nourish your Sankalpa
- Recall your Sankalpa when the mind is quiet (e.g. after meditation, when you first wake up, whenever you are feeling peaceful).
- Place your Sankalpa at the beginning and/or end of your Yoga Nidra practice.
- Frame your Sankalpa and put it on your altar or in a meaningful place.
Continue to nourish your Sankalpa and you will notice how your actions, reactions, and interactions are imbued with the beauty and power of your Sankalpa and ultimately, that which you aspire to achieve or become will be made manifest.
Deepen your practice. Share your light.
Years in the making, I am excited to launch my Yoga Nidra Immersion + program. The program will be suited for curious and dedicated students who are ready to take a deep dive into Yoga Nidra and its practices. For those wishing to share Yoga Nidra with their community, a mentorship/certification option will be available.