The Sanskrit word sankalpa can be translated as ‘resolve’ or ‘resolution’. It is an important technique and stage of yoga nidra and a powerful method of reshaping one’s personality along positive lines.
The sankalpa takes the form of a short mental statement which is impressed on the subconscious mind during yoga nidra. It is a method of changing one’s lifestyle, achieving ambitions and of removing negative blocks and mental conflicts.
Past thoughts have led to our present personality, attitudes, etc. Present thought will determine future behaviour. By means of a thought in the form of a strong sankalpa it is possible to change one’s destiny.
If you think about it, you will realize that every person becomes great because of sankalpa, whether conscious or unconscious. They have a burning need to achieve something. Their sankalpa brings about a restructuring of the mind and personality. This in turn brings about realization of their aims in the outside world. The small seed of sankalpa, once planted, can grow and produce many fruits. Such is the power of sankalpa. The use of sankalpa in yoga nidra can also be a factor in remodelling your life.
During the practice of yoga nidra the mind is very receptive and sensitive to autosuggestion in the form of sankalpa. It is possible to plant the seed of sankalpa deep in the subconscious mind. Once planted the sankalpa gathers together the vast forces of the mind in order to bring about its fruition. At first the sankalpa is merely a conscious resolve, but eventually it becomes a very powerful subconscious force. This deeper force will eventually manifest itself again at a conscious level and bring about changes in your personality and in your life.
It is important, however, that the sankalpa is firmly impressed on the mind. Many people make resolves, but they rarely bring results. The reason is simple, the resolve is not planted deeply enough; instead it tends to operate at an intellectual level on the surface of the mind. Often the resolve is made when the mind is disturbed and when you feel generally unhappy and dissatisfied. At this time the mind is not ready to receive the resolve. For success, the sankalpa needs to be planted with strong willpower and with feeling. It should also be planted when the mind is ready to accept and absorb it. Such a time is during yoga nidra.