If you have taken one of my classes, you probably noticed that I enjoy starting each class with inviting my students to set an intention. “You can set your intention on something physical, maybe it’s to become more flexible or to get stronger. You can set your intention on something emotional, maybe it’s to let something go, or take something in. You can even set your intention on something spiritual, maybe it’s to connect to something bigger than yourself, or maybe it’s to just connect to yourself.” Your intention can change as frequently or as little as you want, but putting a “why” behind your practice is so important to find the healing and support that is available to you in your yoga practice.
For me, yoga has always been a more spiritual practice. It has helped me connect. It has helped me let go. It has helped me find peace. I think I found this because my intentions for my practice have always been spiritual themed. Let me explain how I use spiritual intentions to go deeper in to my practice and how I adjust my intentions based on the day or week or month I have been having.
“You can even set your intention on something spiritual, maybe it’s to connect to something bigger than yourself…”
Do you ever have those days where your ego is just so large that everyone around you just seems so unimportant? Or those days when you heard someone who did something that you swear you would never do and you are judging them so harshly for it? Or where you feel so disconnected from the people in your community or maybe even in your own home? I can definitely relate to having days like these (even though I hate to admit it). On days like those, I like to set my intention on connecting to something bigger than myself. To me that bigger connection is on God. To spend my practice with the intention of worshipping God and finding my connection to that presence. We all can connect to that presence, and that helps me take my focus off of my self and realize that we are all cut from the same cloth. I am no better than the person next to me. Each person is filled with the divine so within each person I can find a piece of God (bye, bye ego).
“…or maybe it’s to just connect to yourself.”
Now, on the other spectrum. Do you ever have days that you feel like you are insignificant? The days when you feel like you are the worst human that has ever walked the earth, like everything you touch turns into dirt? The days when you are so hard on yourself and the only thing that plays through your mind is negative self talk? Yep, I have been there too, more times than I want to admit. On days like those, I set my intention on connecting to myself. To find the divine that is in me. If I can see the God in everyone else, I must be able to find the God in me. I focus on allowing my body to flow with grace. I focus on the power that I hold inside me. I focus on all the good that God has done in my life. I open my heart and feel the love that my body is filled with. I feel the forgiveness that I am able to receive. After practicing with this intention I tend to feel more empowered, more filled with love and I can feel this sense of peace that washes over my entire body.
Intentions can be a very powerful tool in your yoga practice to help you find healing. Because of this, I want to emphasize the importance of setting positive intentions before every practice. If you don’t set your intention and are feeling very negative, you might just fed into that negative mindset as you practice, instead of inviting in a transformative energy. If you don’t set your intention and are feeling very egotistical and cynical, you might fed into that as well, instead of creating an open heart and open mind.
So write your intentions down, maybe try one of my intentions, or create your own. We are all on different journeys and we all need different things. So play around and see what works best for you!
Have questions? Ask me! Tried it? Let me know! Namaste, Engaged Spirits!