“Let’s take a moment to set an intention for your practice today.” Do you look around unsure of what to do when your yoga teacher says that to the class? Are you confused? I once felt that way too.
So, what is an intention?
Something Deeply personal to you. Thoughts. Your emotions. It can be to become closer to forgiving others. It can be letting love into your heart, even if it is a difficult time for that in your life. It may even be to accept yourself for who you are in this moment. Pure love. You are not perfect but when you accept yourself you begin to respect yourself. And with that you are then able to share that love with others. We already have enough negativity in this world. We need more loving and positive people who bring good thoughts to our community. What you send out, will come back to you.
So sometimes it may be for you or it may be for someone else. A prayer. A purpose. Not a goal. A goal is something you intend to accomplish in the future. Your intention is now. How do you want to feel now? Always keep it positive. Don’t be vague, be specific.
Why should you set an intention?
Setting an intention will keep your mind from wandering off thinking about all you have to do today, tomorrow or this week. The idea is to keep your body and mind connected. Truly and deeply staying in the moment you are in.
Once you set your intention, as your poses go deeper and maybe a little more intense, you want to think back to your intention you set at the beginning of your practice to keep your body and mind strong. If you are in a tree pose and begin to lose focus, looking around, that is not yoga. So, take a deep breath, gaze forward, bring your mind back to your intention, allowing yourself to find your strength. Your body and mind will find the connection. It may take some practice, but each time you will be able to stay focused a little bit longer.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
“Let me be strong”. This is good if faith in yourself has been shaken. Set an intention to be strong, because that is what you are. That will flow into your mind and you will become physically strong as well during your practice.
“I will breathe deeper throughout my practice”. This is keeping your intention simple and specific. If you keep thinking about your breathing, your body will open up. You will feel like you have some released some stress by end of your practice.
“I forgive those who have harmed me”. You know it’s time to move forward. You understand you won’t forget what they have done to hurt you. A lesson was learned. You will find the strength to forgive. You will come away with peace and freedom from the situation. You are a happier person because you are able to forgive.
“I will let go of my anxiety”. I feel all of the many emotions that arise in me. I will take a moment and ask myself why I am feeling this way. If I can’t control the situation, I will simply breathe and let go. I will close my eyes and focus on my breathing. Inhale and exhale. Smile. I am safe, I am love, I am peace and all is well with my soul.