Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Sankalpa - Resolution

The powerful Sanskrit word Sankalpa means resolve. It is a chosen resolution made during the practice of Yoga Nidra. It is a process of training the mind to develop trust and faith in yourself & provide a direction for your whole life if you use it wisely.

Its effect is to awaken the willpower within by uniting the conscious awareness with the unconscious forces lying dormant. It takes the form of a short phrase or sentence, clearly and concisely expressed, using the same wording each time, to bring about a positive change in one’s life.

The Purpose of Sankalpa

The purpose of Sankalpa is to influence and transform the whole life pattern, not only the body but also the mind, the emotions and the spiritual forces. These forces are normally dissipated by inner conflicts or confusion or by various external demands and responsibilities of life. Sankalpa is a tool to focus the energy, the Prana- the life force, so that it becomes like a laser beam.

Stages of Sankalpa

Though the Sankalpa is one but to recognize the deepest quality of Sankalpa, we may have to go through some of the stages along the way like stepping-stones across a river, each step within reach of the previous one.
It can be described into four stages:
(I) The reforming of bad habits,
(II) Improving the quality of life and living,
(III) Creating a real change within our personality,
(IV) Realizing what we are trying to achieve in this life.

Find a Sankalpa

The choice of the kind of Sankalpa we make is very important and should always aim to bring out the best within us. We should first deliberate to find out what level we are at and what changes can be attempted to begin our way over. It means recognizing, reducing and eliminating some negative quality that we know is holding us back. If that negative quality can be successfully managed and dealt with, then we are in a position to recognize a positive change we can make which would improve the quality of our life. 

Find a Sankalpa which is short and sweet, only a few words. It need not be influenced by words alone. It should be visualized symbolically as an image, felt as a sensation. It should bring up with it a feeling of complete surrender and faith towards God. Consider well before making your Sankalpa. Once you do find your Sankalpa then meditate on it, read it each day or journal on it. Don’t change it, until it comes true.

Phrasing the Sankalpa

The phrasing of the Sankalpa can be either in the present or the future tense, whatever works for you. For example, when I make a Sankalpa and use the future tense, what this means to me is that I will do something, I will do it using all my willpower and I will complete it. There is no doubt in my mind of this. That is what the word will implies here – I will do it. The word will refers to the future tense as well as to willpower.

How to Formulate the Sankalpa

Sankalpa should only be made when one understands its real purpose and meaning. In the beginning most people do not know what Sankalpa is or which Sankalpa they should make. Therefore they should wait until their understanding develops. To come to this state, begin with something very basic: changing the habits, changing the limitations that inhibit your growth. Try to understand yourself, observe yourself, find the blocks, and overcome one thing at a time. Don’t have an abstract idea or an unattainable concept without prior training.

Power of the Sankalpa

The power of the Sankalpa arises when we tune into our desires, into what we really want to achieve & to get away from the confusion, doubt and conflict. As seed has tremendous power, but only if it is sown in fertile ground, looked after and tended daily, with the inner certainty that the seed will produce its fruit in its own time. In the same way, you have the mind and you have an idea. If you prepare your mind and then sow the seed in the bed of your mind and if the mind is clear, then the Sankalpa grows very well and becomes willpower.


Sankalpa should be used every time before we begin our Yoga practice. The practice of Sankalpa in Yoga allows us to spend a little time contemplating and trying to tune into what we really want in life. It is a fundamental practice because it provides a foundation for everything else. The problem is that we are so tense that our past is tense, our present is tense and our future is tense. Yoga teaches us that focus on the present. Ignore the insecurities of the future. If something is going to happen in the future why are you worried now? Perfect your present. 

If you practice Yoga (which includes Yoga Nidra and Meditation),it would guide you towards a steady calm body mind and then Sankalpa will have more force and be able to penetrate more deeply than when the mind is dissipated.


Sankalpa is an important stage of Yoga Nidra in which the mind can receive your Sankalpa. It is a determination to become something or to do something in your life. Sankalpa is made twice in Yoga Nidra in the beginning and at the end. When we make resolve in the beginning of the practice,it is like sowing a seed and the resolve at the end of the practice is like irrigating it. The aim of Yoga Nidra depends mostly on the practitioner. One can develop the memory, increase knowledge, do astral travelling, transform your nature and eliminate many vicious habits of thinking and living. If you know what you wish to achieve in life, Sankalpa can be the creator of your destiny.


Sankalpa is not making a wish every New Year’s Day. It is taking a step forward and once you take a step forward, stepping back has no meaning. Remember that the more positive, optimistic and Sattvic you are, the more strength you will gain and the further you will go.

Aum Shanti