The Creative Power of Sankalpa
What are we "human beings" exactly?
Simply put, molecules held together by samskaras.
What are samskaras? The word samskara comes from the Sanskrit sam (complete or joined together) and kara (action, cause, or doing). Samskaras are generalized patterns that come from individual impressions, ideas, or actions we take and receive. Taken together, our samskaras make up our conditioning. Repeating the same impressions, ideas and actions reinforces them, creating a groove that is difficult to unearth and change. Humans are the result of their deeper mind and its store of countless impressions from the past.
Negative samskaras hinder our positive evolution. Our reactions, perspectives and even our external conditions of our lives are all products of our patterned responses which are never forgotten and deeply rooted in the subconscious and unconscious mind. Since our subconscious and unconscious are usually not within conscious reach, how can these patterns be changed when they seem to stay so well hidden?
Yoga Nidra is Sanskrit for Yogic Sleep. It is an ancient form of meditation that will take you into the deepest levels of relaxation while remaining fully aware. When practicing the Wong method of Yoga Nidra, your brainwaves relax into the alpha and theta state. As you progressively enter deeper and subtler brain waves you become more relaxed, integrated, expansive and present.
In the process of Yoga Nidra you shift out of identification with your body, mind and ego. In this deep state beyond ordinary waking consciousness, you can disengage from restrictive physical, mental and emotional patterning. Here, you are free to develop a life that is an expression of your higher consciousness, rather than simply your acquired conditioning.
Yoga Nidra provides the tools to ‘weed out’ those unconscious negative patterns and in their stead plant positive seeds deep in the subconscious mind.
Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation technique which enables the pracitioner conscious access to the unconscious mind. Yoga Nidra induces a state similar akin to that of deep sleep. However, unlike normal sleep, where the person is unaware of the external world, in Yoga Nidra inner awareness is active while the body and mind are deeply relaxed.
In the visualization stages of Yoga Nidra with the use of guided imagery, the contents of the unconscious mind can arise and be integrated into the conscious experience and allow old emotional patterns to release.
Sometimes samskaras arise as painful memories, unfulfilled desires, conflicts, fears, or often what arises is just a color or an emotion, a felt sense. In the deeply relaxed state of Yoga Nidra it is possible to witness past experience and old emotion as though watching a movie where in every day waking state we generally cannot simply remain the witness. In everyday waking life, we tend to react, interact, and express from the force of the pattern and often give negative patterns even more energy.
Remaining the witness in a relaxed state will help unblock previously repressed and locked up energy to be transformed for use in other activities. The process of Yoga Nidra can help clean up challenging and difficult thoughts and impressions which when left unprocessed can cause negativity and illness.
Another tool used in Yoga Nidra is the practice of sankalpa.
The sankalpa is a chosen resolution made during the practice of yoga nidra. It could be said that the main purpose of yoga nidra is to realize one’s sankalpa. The sankalpa, or resolve is stated in the first person and mentally repeated while in the deeply relaxed state of Yoga Nidra. The sankalpa plants positive seeds of intention in the subconscious and begins a process of transformation that will being to manifest profound, positive changes in their life.
The difference between sankalpa and a normal new year’s resolution is that the sankalpa is used when the practitoner is in a deeply relaxed and receptive state. At the time of sankalpa repetition in Yoga Nidra, alpha and theta brain waves are dominant. These are the brain waves of relaxation, creativity and receptivity.
A sankalpa mentally stated with conviction, faith, and determination used daily will grow very strong roots which will allow our heart's desire to blossom right before our eyes.