Do you find the hype around New Year’s Resolutions triggering? If, like me, ‘New Year, New Me’ sentiments just don’t resonate with you or feel authentic, know you are definitely not alone! 

This time of the year is a natural invitation for us to journey inward. With much of the natural world in a state of hibernation; we too are called to flow with the rhythm of nature by pausing, going within and dreaming into the year ahead and thinking about what we’d like to invite into our experience in the coming year and beyond. 

I ditched setting New Year’s resolutions years ago in favour of creating heart centred intentions; known as a sankalpa in the yogic tradition.

San = a connection with the highest truth 
Kalpa = vow or promise; the rule to be followed above all others

Sankalpa = a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth

A sankalpa brings clarity and focus to our thoughts and actions, helping to steer us in the direction of our highest path.

The most effective sankalpa is simple – expressed as one to five words or as a short statement. Just like a mantra, you can call these words to mind and infuse their vibration into everything you do. 

Sankalpa Practice to Create Soul Centred Intentions 

Step 1: Find a quiet place, somewhere you find calming, peaceful yet inspiring. Personally, I like to do the reflection part of this practice in nature as it allows me to tune more clearly into my inner voice and intuition. 

Step 2: Now, reflect on the following questions:

  1. How do I want to show up in the world? 
  2. What do I wish to invite into my experience this year and beyond? 

Step 3: Using your reflections on the questions above, distil your thoughts into one, three, or five affirming, positive words OR alternatively you can create a short intention statement. 

My sankalpa is “I am a magnet for joy, love and abundance”

Step 4: To anchor your sankalpa, practice the hand mudra pictured below as you chant your words; with emphasis and feeling

I chant my sankalpa three times first with arms raised overhead – to anchor my sankalpa to the divine realm, then three times at third eye (to anchor my intention at Ajna the seat of intuition), before finally chanting three times at heart centre with feeling and meaning.

Return to your sankalpa as often as you wish to align yourself your intention. Regularly reciting your sankapla will re-align you with your truth and guide you back to the wisdom of your heart.  

How to Perform Kali Mudra

 In Kali mudra, all the fingers except the index fingers interlock, with the palms facing each other. While the fingers interlock, the left thumb rests over the right thumb.

Kali mudra encourages positivity in the entire mind-body system by clearing energy blockages in the sushumna nadi (central prana channel), reducing mental and emotional tensions. This mudra is also referred to as Ksepana Mudra, meaning the gesture of pouring out and letting go.

I hope you find this is a more authentic and soulful alternative for setting intentions. If this practice resonates with you, I’d love you to share your sankapla in the comments below.