If you’ve been to a yoga class, you’ve likely stood in Mountain Pose at the top of your mat or bowed in Child’s Pose to begin the practice.
At that point, the teacher likely invited you to create or reinforce an intention called a sankalpa.
Our sankalpa reflects a specific desire, something one is trying to achieve; for example: “I am healthy. I enjoy prosperity. I feel at ease when faced with challenges.” As you can see, the intention is stated in the present tense—that way, it holds the force of a statement. A fact. A truth.
The intention is stronger than a wish. It is guidepost for all other thoughts, feelings, actions, and deeds. As we know, there’s no magic bullet. An intention alone is not enough. We cannot be complacent with our desires. An intention must be actionable to be effective.
For example, one’s intention may be, “I am working in a fulfilling career.” In order for this intention to manifest, the person may need to prove herself in her current position to get a promotion, apply for a new position, change trades, attend networking events, earn a new degree, or even start her own business.
The intention is the catalyst, but the fruit comes from the actions that follow.
But what if this woman is taking all the appropriate steps and yet nothing’s happening?
This is where a vikalpa comes into play.
A vikalpa is a belief, adverse desire, or habit that is in direct conflict with one’s intention. While the intention moves us in the direction of our dreams, a vikalpa holds us back. It creates resistance. Often times, this resistance is strong enough to keep us from realizing our intentions.
Our vikalpas aren’t always obvious. They’re often lurking under the surface.
For example: Our friend’s intention is to work in a fulfilling career, but unbeknownst to her, her vikalpa is “getting fired would be the worst thing in the world.” You see, her belief that the risk of getting fired would be the worst thing in the world is so powerful that it is subconsciously competing with her intention. Her desire not to get fired is keeping her safe in her current job, versus fulfilled in the job she seeks.
Through meditation and reflection, she can discover her vikalpa and shed light on it to overcome it.
We can lift the dams that block our intentions from becoming materialized. Often, the awareness of recognizing the belief or adverse desire that is holding us back is enough to assuage the harm it causes.
The universe is on our side; it wants to support us. It is constantly responding to our requests and signals. We just have to be vigilant as to where we’re giving it mixed signals. We have to be clear about what we’re trying to manifest. The desire that drives our intention must be stronger than the desire that feeds the very boundary that holds us back.
In Rod Stryker’s book, The Four Desires, he says, “The question is, is your deepest driving desire leading you towards your destiny or away from it?”
Author: Kristen Schneider
Image: With permission from Darko Sikman
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton