I discovered my Sankalpa a few months back, and so far, it has left some lasting effects.
Now if you don’t know what a Sankalpa is, you’re not alone. For someone who had avoided the concept of mindfulness, depended on substances and its numbing properties to heal me, this was a tough one.
But most yogi-centred websites define a Sankalpa as the ‘intention formed by the heart rather than the mind.’ A desire out of one’s mind is of no challenge, after all.
Discovering your Sankalpa is out of your control- it unravels, with the help of yoga nidra, a well-known concept within the yoga community that has been practised by the Vedic rishis. A person’s Sankalpa usually comprises a resolve or resolution (something that is meant to help improve and transform lives mentally, physically and emotionally and spiritually.)
When I started getting into yoga, its ideologies and philosophies started opening up to me. Yoga became more than the Lulu Lemon-wearing, Instagram posing, and tree-hugging cliché people made it out to be.
Minus the group classes, slight desire to purchase adorable yogi-wear and whatnot. Yoga reprogrammed my mind to a different perspective, one I hadn’t seen before.
The spiritual and emotional elements of yoga became a gateway to achieve the momentary ‘still’ state of mind, that I had longed for. The mat, mantras and sounds of the universe helped take the place of the self-victimising and toxicity I enveloped myself in.
There are two types of Sankalpas; one is a statement you can make about something that is already in the present, like ‘I have healed’ or ‘I am content and proud of myself.’ The second type is when you’re setting a goal or intention, helping achieve your eventual ‘ultimate goal.’
I don’t think you figure out which one is yours until you stick through with the practice. Based on the reviews I’ve read from people who’ve practised it my own experience, it’s safe to say that everyones’ Sankalpa differs.
How does Yoga Nidra helps you discover your Sankalpa?
Yoga Nidra translates to a ‘yogic sleep’, as defined by Intuitive Flow. It’s a type of yoga that requires you to lay on your mat, face-up and comfortably- without movement, for a whole hour. During the session, you’ll be guided by a gentle voice that will guide you to a full body and mind awareness.
Feeling every inch of your body with your brain’s stimulatory senses, and having the ability to immerse in your transition from being awake to sleeping, yet remaining conscious. It’s a more meditative and relaxed type of yoga.
One of Nidra’s benefits is that it gives everyone an opportunity to get to know themselves on a more intimate level. Through this practice, you learn to acknowledge long-held emotions, face overwhelming truths and finally, it harvests your path to wellbeing.
How awareness of my ‘Sankalpa’ refined my way of thinking.
A Sankalpa usually comes in the form of a simple statement, a short sentence or phrase. Before even knowing what yoga nidra could do for me, mid-meditation, I already questioned its effectivity or lack thereof.
Fifteen minutes into the first yoga Nidra practice, after my body laid silently, my mind revelled in this present momentous glory, the guru’s voice asked: “What is your Sankalpa?”.
I’m not going to sit here and bullshit you, that probably woke me up because I thought to myself “What in the fuck is a Sankalpa?”
However, as the guru explained what it was, I promptly envisioned opening up my chest like a wooden drawer does when pulled. Searching the heart’s wants, what it yearns and truly longs for. I almost cried.
Then a statement gradually took shape:
“I vow to get to know, accept and finally love myself.”
The following occurrence then became one of those life-defining-moments I thought one could only ever see in a Julia Roberts movie, but it happened. The mental vision was cloudless.
For the first time since; I first fell in love, lost my first love, fell in love harder, experienced emotional/physical abuse, gained twelve kilos (affecting my self-esteem), I saw no haze in the darkness. It was clear all along.
All I needed to get out of the forlorn I had shamelessly sat in- was to learn and accept my wants, needs, best interests and yearnings.
It was the simplest yet most overlooked statement in my book.
Ever since that redefining moment, the energy I exuded out to the world attracted new people who have instilled new viewpoints. I have learned to express my inner-most feelings to those who value them and most importantly, I’ve learned to appreciate my newfound constant push for self-growth.
I’m nowhere near fulfilling the Sankalpa I’ve discovered but a friend of mine something worth mentioning. He said, “Knowing and understanding makes everything a whole lot easier. It takes the weight off of your inner dilemmas.” That’s hardly a direct quote, but you get the idea.
If you want to try out yoga nidra, I highly recommend starting with this video. This is the video that helped me immensely.