Im sure that you have already heard of sankalpa, especially when approaching to yoga or meditation, but what does sankalpa actually mean?

The word Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word which literally means respect, desire or intention, it is the conviction of being able to realize what the mind proposes through the intention of doing so. It is like an idea which forms in the mind and takes strength in the heart untill it is realized.
According to the yogic vision, to a reading of symbolic type, the mind is located right in the heart.

Usually we talk about  Sankalpa in Yoga Nidra, given that it lets your intention go very deep into the psyche, so that your intention works directly beyond the mind.

However Sankalpa being an intention, can also be made before any sadhana or at the beginning of any yogic practice, before meditation, or even at the beginning of a new day, a little like a new resolution. To express sankalpa  therefore means to create the life that we are destined to embrace and enjoy. The aim is to transform our lives physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.


We Western people usually make our resolutions for new year, as if we wanted to change things and life, but very often these new year resolutions fail because we make them so superficially, specifically are made through the intellect, we think about what we lack and then simply express a desire, something to have or possess, only that to be happy we do not need to “have”.

When sankalpa is practiced on a calm and relaxed mind, it is impressed beyond it, in that place where the thoughts rise that we reach even through meditation.
So it is as if in addition to the thought, we plant the seeds of our sankalpa to the deep level of our being up to the root of the soul, knowing that when the time is right, this intention or purpose will be made.

The word sankalpa is made up of two parts:

Kalpa means vow or promise, and should be the rule to follow above any other.
San refers to priority, with all the commitment possible.
Sankalpa is therefore a vow and a commitment that we take.

A sankalpa should respect and support the deepest meaning of our lives and is a statement to reinforce everything in which we believe. It must be positive, expressed with a present time, otherwise we create a distance between us and our intention, and it must be expressed in a sentence that makes sense, therefore feasible.

We can recognise two types of sankalpa:

  • The first is a sort intention in the present, such as I am in peace ,’ or ‘I am healed.’ This allows us to quickly change and support our practice and our life.
  • The second we can understand it as the setting of a specific goal or objective that we want to achieve. A goal for which to work for in a certain period of time. An example in our practice could be Intention or final objective = I will carry out Hanumasana
    The important thing is that it is an achievable goal according to our chances and according to our intention.

Creating a Sankalpa is quite simple, we must think of a short sentence. The phrase should be the most positive and open as possible; type like “I am happy and open to everything that life can offer me ” and I add my intention.

Obviously an intention must be nourished with positive energy and it is necessary to be steadfast and determined until the sankalpa expressed becomes a part of our daily routine. We can use it as a mantra during the Pranayama, have a reminder on the screen of our computer or phone, or repeat it calmly before going to sleep.

The concept of Sankalpa concept is a noble and ancient one already known to the Rishi Vedics.

In the veda it is underlined how we create our world through the mind, to formulate a Sankalpa makes us capable of shaping it in a positive way.

If you want to deepen and start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone