The New Year and Sankalpa 2018

The New Year and Sankalpa


The idea of a new year is usually associated with change and opportunities to start afresh. I can remember many new year’s resolutions that I made that enabled me to embrace the concept of change with enthusiasm and optimism rather than the fear that often accompanies change.

Often my resolutions came to nothing and were quickly forgotten before the end of January but sometimes a resolution stuck and became integrated into the fabric of my life.

I never gave it much thought as to why some resolutions were successful whilst others were so quickly discarded until I came across the Yogic concept of Sankalpa .

Just like a new year’s resolution (although you don’t have to wait for New Year), a Sankalpa is a resolve that we make during our Yoga Nidra practice when we are at peace with ourselves and the mind is receptive and creative .

The Sankalpa is more likely to succeed because it is based on our heartfelt desires. It is different in that instead of changing to become something that we are not, it requires us to change into something that we are. That might sound ridiculous but consider for a moment who and what you are and ask yourself if you are living a life that supports and nourishes you on every level? Are you the best person you are capable of being? Do you feel fulfilled? 

Sankalpa asks us to consider our potential and to look at what we have achieved so far in fulfilling that potential. To take an honest look at ourselves and consider what is needed to bring out the greatness. To become the people the heart longs for us to be.

When we look at a new-born baby we see an ocean of opportunity, we cannot imagine what the adult will become but there are seeds of potential that we can help to nurture and bring forth. As the baby grows we begin to see the natural yearnings emerge as the child shows interest and enthusiasm for certain things and in spite of our desires for them to be who we would like them to be, we learn to love them for who they are and encourage them on the path of their choosing.

Many of us will never realise the greatness of who we are but if we recognise a heartfelt desire to awaken the seeds of change within us , the Sankalpa can become the reminder to water and nurture those seeds. 

For it to succeed we need to feel it and sense it within us as something inherently right. Although we might use words to remind ourselves of our Sankalpa as in an affirmation, there are those who will prefer to visualise it or feel it instead. 

If we select a very basic change for instance such as losing weight, we may prefer to imagine a realistic image of ourselves at the shape and size we are most comfortable with, one that creates an inner sense of ease and allows us to feel at peace with ourselves. If we are heavy boned and have always been healthy carrying a bit of weight then becoming wafer thin is going to deplete us both mentally and physically and will create dis-ease within us so when we visualise it, we need to feel it is an acknowledgement of ourselves and that it respects the natural constitution of the body. 

Another example of Sankalpa might be to learn something new. Perhaps a language for example? We may imagine ourselves speaking the language and making new friends or visiting the country where the selected language is spoken. When the sounds and images associated with that spoken language bring ease and comfort to the heart, the effort we put in nourishes our spirits and offers fulfilment. 

The Sankalpa feels so right and when we use it in Yoga Nidra, the desire to achieve it is nurtured and incorporated into our sense of self.

So perhaps this term we might consider Sankalpa and find a deep sense of fulfilment as we pursue our heartfelt desires? 

Opportunities abound for the New Year.

Happy New Year to you all and may your heartfelt desires be fulfilled. 

Om Om Om 


Published by liz on Sunday, 7 January 2018, last updated on Sunday, 7 January 2018 at 8:08PM
Categories: Yoga Times

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