Resolve to Evolve:  Sankulpa

By: Darlene Ralicki

It’s that time of year – new beginnings and a time when we develop our new year resolutions. Often those resolutions are focused on the negative or something we aspire to “fix”, and they often lose their sizzle by March.

Instead of resolutions, this year we invite you to try a sankalpa; in other words, set your intention. Sankalpa is your intention for your dharma or path.  What is the ultimate intention for your life?  What are all the smaller intentions to get there?

As an alternative to “resolutions” with huge goals focusing on negative attributes and “I shoulds”, try the yoga tradition and concept of sankalpa.  Sankalpa is determination, conviction, and resolve. Sankalpa lets you set your intention towards your dharma (path, life’s purpose).  Bruce Black, author of Writing Yoga, describes setting an intention as “drawing an arrow from the quiver of your heart”.  Intentions draw us to the calling in our hearts instead a resolution to fix something perceived to be broken.

“A Sankalpa is a seed we sow in our conscious mind. Once it is sown, we nurture it daily until it takes root in our subconscious. When our subconscious is onboard, our Sankalpa will start to manifest outside us in abundant ways.”

— Hilda Carrollon

  • Begin with the words “I am” or ” I will”.
  • Connect with yourself quietly and ask, “what do I really need to focus on?” This may take a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks.
  • Once you find it, let it marinate. You may end up with a few intentions.
  • Once you have some clarity, outline your intentions – succinctly in writing.
  • Plant your sankalpa firmly by bringing it to mind frequently – daily meditation, post-it note reminder, alarm on your phone.

Set your sankalpa every morning, before every yoga practice, and at the time of new beginnings.  Your sankalpa may change over time based on what is happening in your life, but it is always done with compassion and a positive focus. Try sankalpa this January!

©2019 Darlene Ralicki, E-RYT 200®, YACEP®

Resolve to Evolve: Sankulpa