Not knowing your vikalpa, or vikalpas, can keep you from thriving and living a life of greatness.

Even if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goals, you may be unconsciously running yourself into a “wall” created by your vikalpa.


My guess is that you may not have heard this Sanskrit term used in yoga class recently.

If you have no clue what a vikalpa is or why it’s important to know yours, don’t worry.

As a Four Desires Trainer I specialize in helping people uncover their vikalpas. In this post I’m going to get you acquainted with this yogic concept quickly.


means separation.
Kalpa means a rule to be followed above all others.


Essentially our vikalpas are the unconscious rules we follow that separate us from living a life where we truly thrive.

Vikalpa is also referred to as the process of decision making. When we subscribe to our vikalpas to make our decisions we are actually doing ourselves a disservice because vikalpas tend to develop in early life and no longer serve their original purpose. In fact, they block us from moving forward.

Vikalpas unconsciously drive our actions in a negative way until we unearth them, acknowledge that we have gained something by holding these rules or beliefs, and then work with releasing their grip on our lives.

The process of uncovering our vikalpas can take a bit of digging, but once we bring them to light we begin to see how we have been allowing them to keep us from taking the actions that we really want to take in the world.

Most of us have only 2 or 3 vikalpas that drive us.

To put it simply, you can think of your vikalpa(s) as your unique resistance.

The tricky part is that you have to acknowledge the positive aspects you get from making decisions based on the unconscious resistance of your vikalpa. You don’t get what you consciously want, but you do get something. Maybe you get to play it safe for example. Maybe acting from your unique vikalpa allows you to not rock the boat and upset a parent or sibling by challenging their view of who you are.

Have you ever felt like your own worst enemy?


Does it seem like your mind is creating more obstacles between you and the thing you want?

That’s your vikalpa talking. And it usually comes with a host of negative patterns that we follow in our daily lives. For example, some people procrastinate on work projects because their unconscious vikalpa wants to protect them from having their work judged.

Here’s an example of a student’s unique vikalpa from The Four Desires Workbook: “I want to be loved by everybody, no matter the toll it takes on my body, mind and soul.”

Can you see how this person seemingly benefits from their vikalpa because of their deep desire to be loved. The reason it’s their vikalpa is because it is actually cutting them off from what truly makes them thrive. They have focused on love from others (everybody, in fact) as more important than caring for their own body, mind and soul.

By uncovering this unconscious rule that they have been living by, they can begin to consciously notice when this unhelpful pattern blocks them from the life they want to be living. Over time their vikalpa will weaken and they will be able to move through this resistance and toward creating a life where they thrive.

Working with your vikalpa isn’t a quick process. It takes time and the willingness to be aware of your unique negative patterns.

If you are interest in uncovering your vikalpa, contact me to be added to the wait list for my next Four Desires Intensive workshop. In the workshop I’ll guide you through written exercises, yoga and meditation to uncover your unique vikalpa so that you can live the life you were meant to live with joy, prosperity and freedom.


Want to learn more about The Four Desires process and how to uncover your purpose?
Listen to this episode of the podcast, A Healthy Curiosity, where I discuss how you can tap into your own inner guidance.


Photo Credit: Jon Tyson on Unsplash