So often when I am teaching a yoga class I invite students to 'set an intention' however the other week someone asked me at the end of class - 'What exactly do you mean by set an intention?' So let's break it down.
Often when people are new to yoga - maybe that's YOU - they can get lost with the 'yogi language'. What I sometimes like to call - hippy dippy. I'm sure you know what I mean! I like to allow my students time to settle into the silence at the beginning of a yoga class and setting an intention for your practice can be a powerful thing.
So how is an intention different from a goal? A goal can be positive BUT it can also be negative. For example, a goal to 'lose 5 pounds' comes from a place of negativity, from feeling not good enough. I like to think of intentions as being the positive alternative to this. Intentions work within the present moment, we open ourselves up to becoming more present in our lives and being okay just as we are. Once you feel at peace with yourself you will find that everything else will begin to fall into place.
When I ask a student to set an intention at the beginning of their yoga practice what I am asking is for them to focus on the present moment - on what they are feeling right now. The intention can be small or maybe it's something a little bit bigger. Whatever you are feeling right at the moment. Intentions can blossom and evolve over time, especially as you move deeper into your yoga practice.
You could even create a mantra (a word or phrase that is repeated) that inspires you and allows you to align with your intention. With each breath repeat your intention in your mind. Often this allows us to move deeper in the present moment - connecting mind, body and breath. So next time you settle down on your yoga mat to start your practice. Create an intention that resonates with you and allow yourself to carry this intention through your practice.
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