Do you ever wonder what it means when your yoga teacher invites you to set an intention at the beginning of class? An intention can be a word, a colour, a sentence they say. But what does any of this really mean?
The act of setting an intention in yoga is a tool to help carry aspects of your yoga practice into everyday life. The beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced on and off the mat. (Another common phrase you may hear in class.) Many of us are drawn to the physical components of yoga (asana) where we then discover the many other incredible benefits such as stress release, slowing down our mind, reorganising our thoughts – self-awareness on a physical, emotional and mental level.
When we set an intention, we create a positive thought to come back to whenever the mind is wandering during our practice. This not only helps us to keep our mind clear of our stressors, it creates an awareness of where we are right now and what we want to focus our energy toward. As a result, our practice becomes one of mindfulness and we create a positive thought pattern that can become actions and behaviours outside of our mats.
What this looks like is completely up to you. It could be a word: bravery, strength, calm, healthy. It could be a sentence: I am strong. I am calm. I am exactly where I am meant to be. I believe in myself. It is best to practice setting intentions in a positive, present-tense.
Don’t worry if you’re still unsure. As you find stillness of the mind often these thoughts, words, sentences, images with meaning attached to them will simply float into your consciousness and sometimes, the best place for your attention to be is simply with your breath. Take it day by day and enjoy the incredible power of yoga.
Pinnacle Wellness Manager / Yoga Teacher