Sankalpa संकल्प

Sankalpa संकल्प


Sankalpa is a Sanskrit term in yogic philosophy that refers to a heartfelt desire, a solemn vow, an intention, or a resolve to do something. It is similar to the English concept of a resolution, except that it comes from even deeper within and tends to be an affirmation.

This term comes from the Sanskrit roots san, meaning “a connection with the highest truth,” and kalpa, meaning “vow.” Thus, it translates to denote an affirming resolve to do something or achieve something spiritual.

Oftentimes, yoga practice can help an individual uncover and cultivate their own Sankalpa in order to achieve enlightenment.


I’ve been struggling recently to understand exactly what my Sankalpa is. A lot has changed in the last year and I don’t feel that I’ve fully caught up with myself, in terms of knowing what I want or where I’m headed. The idea of an overarching purpose can be both daunting and liberating in equal strides, but I’ve found recently that it’s been a challenge just to look ahead to the next day or week.

The notion Sankalpa is useful for me when I’m lacking direction or need to step back and look at the bigger picture. Often life can get so busy or stressful that we forget we have a higher purpose, but a simple meditation on Sankalpa can give some clarity back.

I don’t necessarily mean ‘higher purpose’ in a religious or even a spiritual way. We all have the chance to make a difference during our lifetimes and contribute something positive to the world – whether that be parenthood or sharing skills with others – and cultivating Sankalpa can help achieve this.

It’s important to make time for moments of reflection; only then can we begin to work towards our true goals.


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