By: Tara Hoxha

We’re in the time of year when resolutions are typically made to better ourselves in some way. Most resolutions are quickly forgotten and fail within days, weeks or months because they come from the ego’s desire and from a place of ‘not being good enough.’ A sankalpa is an intention that comes from our true inner being. ‘San’ refers to our ‘highest truth’ and ‘kalpa’ means ‘vow.’ It’s an ongoing practice that comes from the idea that we already are who we need to be in order to achieve our dharma, our life’s purpose. Your sankalpa should inspire and light you up, not make you feel stressed out or anxious. 

There’s more power in statements that tell us what or who we are as opposed to what we want. Try to embody more positive statements in the present tense like: ‘I am love and abundance’ or ‘my body is healthy, strong and capable,’ rather than: ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘quit smoking’ or ‘make more money.’ Think of what you desire and be specific – what is it that you’re ultimately wanting to feel or achieve? What part of you is longing to be nourished? These questions can help you create your powerful sankalpa. Use your yoga practice to draw on it again and again, reminding yourself that it’s already within your being. The most amazing part of aligning with the intentions of our highest self is that it connects us to the collective consciousness of the Universe benefiting the good of all beings. 

Once we’re quiet enough to listen to our heart and soul’s desire and go past the ‘thinking’ mind, we’ll intrinsically know what path we need to take. The intention and determination, combined with inspired action (kriya) is when true magic happens! Remember that you are worthy of all your desires and YOU ARE ENOUGH, just as you are, right now. You are simply tapping into your Soul and becoming the best version of yourself – the real, pure love and light that’s inside of you. 

Pairing your sankalpa with your yoga practice, or even a mantra, can be a potent combination. It will bring vibrant energy to your intentions and higher self helping achieve your goals with more ease. Here are some empowering mantras that can be chanted at any time, but are especially powerful when repeated 108 times, using mala beads to keep track:

“Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha” 

Translation: Om and salutations to Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles. May I be blessed with good luck, success, knowledge, and wisdom.

Lesson: Obstacles arrive on our path for us to learn, grow, and become better humans. This mantra encourages us to see the lessons behind the obstacles in our lives and promotes luck, success, knowledge, and wisdom required to overcome them.

“Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah”

Translation: Om and salutations to Lakshmi, the great goddess of generosity and abundance, the bestower of supreme blessings, and the embodiment of pure beauty.

Lesson: To receive abundance one must learn to be generous first. This mantra requires us to broaden our perception to see and receive abundance and generosity beyond the material and physical realms.

“Om Tare Tuttare Ture Swaha”

Translation: Om and salutations to the goddess Tara. May you protect me from fear, danger, suffering, and illness. May you purify all the impurities of my body, speech, and mind.

Lesson: Tara embodies the spirit of Bodhisattva—the selfless and compassionate work towards removing fear and suffering from the world. When your thoughts, words, and actions align with the spirit of a Tibetan goddess, you remove fear, danger, suffering, and illness from your life as well as the lives of others.

“The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
The habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let them spring forth from love born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”

~ K. Sri Dhammananda