Setting Intention in one’s Yoga practice brings a personal connection to your time on the mat. More than just physical exercise, the postures of Yoga and the control of the breath offer us an inward journey that brings about personal insight and integrates Yoga into our everyday life.
According to Webster’s dictionary ( I love looking up words) intention is a determination to act in a certain way, a resolve that has significance. It is what one intends to do or bring about. An intention can be made as a prayer or offered as a soulful act.
Below is a simple 3-step guideline for setting intention and holding it in place throughout your practice and your life.
1. As you step onto your yoga mat, allow yourself the time to formulate your intention.
First build your foundation, connecting not only to the Earth, but inward to your heart. Breathe and be patient. Allow it to feel authentic. Let it come from your heart, rather than your head, aligning with what is most needed, desired, or supportive to you in the moment.
2. Once you begin your practice, hold the awareness of your intention in all that you do.
Your intention could be as simple as remaining attentive to your foundation or a particular postural alignment throughout your practice. Or it may be a feeling that you would like to cultivate. It helps to create a short affirmation or mantra to keep your mind focused. “I am firmly grounded on the Earth” or “My spine is aligned” are simple yet effective. One that I often embrace to support my attitude is “Breathing in peace, breathing out love.”
Observe how your intention supports your movement and your breath. Watch how it effects your attitude and alignment. Be open to new perspectives that may appear.
3. As you complete your practice, allow yourself to reflect on your intention.
How has your practice been effected? How has your practice effected your intention? And what can you carry with you to integrate your intention into your day?
As mentioned in step one, patience is key. Intentions are unlike goals. There is not a set date of completion. They are resolve that occurs over time.
My intention to write this article was made two weeks ago. Thus I have had plenty of time to observe how this intention has been simmering while other intentions took place. And I was very aware that many of my intentions were all happening simultaneously. I never lost my desire or interest in manifesting my vision and thus have proven to myself once again, that intentions are unlike goals. We must allow them to unfold in their own time and in their own way, letting them simmer until just the right flavor is achieved. This tastes good to me.
May your own intentions bring you the sweetness that your own heart desires.
Patiently yours in Yoga,