SCENE: You finally found that comfortable spot on your mat and are beginning to let the stresses of the day go. You’re starting to get the hang of breathing and maybe even the warm-up part of class is feeling good. Then your teacher says something to the effect of, “Take a moment and set an intention for your practice.” An intention, what is that, you wonder? I intend to get through this class without looking like I don’t belong here. I intend to attempt my first arm balance. What else is there? Why do I need to set an intention for my practice?
Good question. I love Deepak Chopra’s definition of an intention: “a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create.” Read that again. SLOWLY. Let it sink into your soul and uncover what it brings up. Intentions are focused, conscious, and the beginning of a creation. Much like your yoga practice should be. Using your breath to blend your movements and unite body, mind, and spirit, your yoga practice is a manifestation of your true self. Your desires and dreams start somewhere. They start with an intention.
There are many reasons why we set an intention for our practice. When I think about it, the top three reasons are: 1) To focus the mind; 2) To link your practice to something off your mat; and 3) To add meaning to your practice. Continue reading