Most likely been instructed by your yoga teacher to set an intention at the beginning of your class. Do you use that opportunity to the fullest? Do you even know what to "intend"? As important as intention-setting is for our practice, it is often is overlooked as the powerful tool for change that it can be for your practice and daily life. Here's a way to take advantage of mindful intention-setting for a richer experience and deeper level of awareness through yoga.
Setting an intention at the beginning of the practice is mindfully holding awareness of an aspect of your personality or trait that you would like to develop more fully which you believe will draw you closer to your truest nature; essentially benefiting the world by being more closely aligned with your true purpose.
Before we begin the physical practice, we know and trust that we are going to link all aspects of our being, mind, body, and spirit. We trust that as we go through our practice we will notice times that our intention can be called to mind to amplify this aspect of our self that we have chosen to highlight, and we trust that as we work through our practice doing positive things for our body. This goodness will seep into, and infuse, every aspect of our self with wellbeing. And we can use that positive vibration to stoke the fire of our heart's intention off the mat. The goodness of our practice on the mat spills into all aspects of our life off the mat, helping us to be more aware and purposeful in our daily life.
Think about this. What special gifts have you been given that you take for granted or put away on the back shelf of your heart? What is going on in your life that has caused you to close down certain aspects of the true you which you are not allowing to fully express? What do you need to heal to be a more compassionate person who recognizes the true interconnectedness of all of us? These are the deeper things that you want to reach for. What in you do you want to become more pronounced that will help the world be a better place by being your truly intended You!
The amazing thing about yoga is that what you experience on the mat typically becomes a metaphor for the "real world" after practice. You've heard it said but have you discovered the synchronicity that occurs? Like when your instructor teaches a theme in class and mentions the energetic effects of the poses. For example, she announces a back-bending, heart-opening theme and within days your are confronted with a situation where you will need to respond in a more compassionate way in order to change a relationship that has been difficult? So, too, with your private intentions. You'll see the synchronicities with that as well.
When you hold an intention, of your design, in your heart, refer to it in your practice -especially for several weeks of classes- you will see situations that will allow for growth in you regarding the quality that you intended to come forth. Holding onto your intention into your day-to-day activities creates an energetic shift that will create positive change for you.
Practicing yoga is an opportunity to create significant change; physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. You are in your practice an hour or so each time, why not use intentions to get even deeper benefits that incorporates all that this beautiful practice has to offer.
Yoga and meditation teacher since 2003, I love discovering and sharing information about natural health and the mind-body-spirit connection through yoga and mindfulness. Join me and be changed for good!