Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep. During the practice of yoga nidra, the person appears to be sleeping, but the consciousness operates at a deeper level of awareness. The person appears to go into a deep sleep, yet remains awake with full awareness. This is exactly the state between wakefulness and sleep. Yoga Nidra also allows the person who is practicing, to be conscious in this state and nurture the seed of great will power to inspire the Higher Self.

The technique of relaxation in Yoga Nidra is practiced during all yoga sessions. Most people think that it is possible to relax when a person is tired by just going to bed, but if the person is physically,emotionally and mentally tensed then he or she will never relax. This is the reason why many people wake up in the morning with a feeling of tiredness, restlessness and poor sleep.


The Sanskrit word Sankalpa means solving. It is an affirmation to be repeated during the practice of Yoga Nidra. It is a process of training the mind to develop confidence and faith in oneself and to provide a direction for life. If you use it wisely then its effect is to awaken the force of will by joining forces with the conscious awareness and the unconscious and sleeping part. The sankalpa takes the form of a clear and concise short phrase, you must repeat the same affirmation during the practice of Yoga Nidra and it will bring you a positive change.

The purpose of Sankalpa is to influence and transform the pattern of all life, not only the body but also the mind, emotions and spiritual forces. These forces are normally dissipated by internal conflicts, or confusion, or by various external stresses and the responsibilities of life. Sankalpa is a tool to focus the energy, the prana that is the life force, so that it becomes like a laser beam. It can be used to:

  • reform bad habits;
  • improve the quality of life and living;
  • create a real change in our personality;
  • realize what we are trying to achieve in this life.

How to choose a Sankalpa?

The choice of Sankalpa is very important and should always be aimed at bringing out the best. The Sankalpa should be a short and sweet phrase formed by a few words. Sankalpa should not be influenced only by words, but must be viewed symbolically as a picture and felt as a sensation. It should also bring a feeling of complete abandonment of the self and faith towards the Universe. Once you find your own Sankalpa, you must meditate on it, repeat it until it becomes a tangible form. The statement of Sankalpa should be expressed in the present tense.

Most people do not know what their Sankalpa is, so they should wait for it to develop its understanding. To reach this state its best to start with something very simple. For example: changing a habit, changing the limits that inhibit growth or understanding oneself. Observe yourself, find what is blocking it, and pass one thing at a time.

The power of Sankalpa

The power of Sankalpa arises when we come into harmony with our desires. What we really want to achieve is to stay away from confusion, doubt and conflict. The sankalpa is like a seed and has enormous power, but only if it is sown in the fertile soil you have, the inner certainty that the seed will bear fruit in its time. Similarly, if you prepare your mind and then sow the seed in the bed of the mind, and if the mind is clear, then the sankalpa grows well and becomes very strong.

Sankalpa in Yoga

Sankalpa should be used every time before you begin practising yoga nidra and/or in any yoga sessions or meditation. The practice of Sankalpa in yoga allows the students to spend some time thinking and trying to get in tune with what they really want in life. It is a fundamental practice that provides the basis for everything else. The problem is that people are so tense, their pasts are tense, their minds are tense, and their future are tense, so yoga teaches them how to focus on the present and ignore the insecurities of the future. If something is going to happen in the future, why worry about it. Just live life in the present moment.

If a person practices yoga (including Yoga Nidra, and all paths of yoga and meditation) all practices will guide him or her to a state of calm and steadiness, so then his or her Sankalpa will be stronger and he or she will be able to penetrate more deeply than when the mind is dissipated.