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Namaste my lovely yogis.
I hope your weekend has been sunny and filled with joy and laughter. Unfortunately, my week hasn’t been ideal for several reasons. However, it’s weeks like these where I clutch onto my perceptions of yoga and mindfulness even greater. As I’m sure you all already know, yoga is a wonderful way to intertwine all things mind body and soul into one practice…talk about killing three birds with one stone! One of my personal favorite aspects of the “mind” component of yoga, is setting a yoga intention.
Ever since I started yoga a few years back, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several different yoga classes, all with varying instructors. Some emphasized setting an intention, while others briefly touched on the topic or did not mention anything at all.
At the end of my yoga class sampling, I just so happened to like the classes where the instructor highlighted setting an intention. Now that most of my practices are at home, I still work to incorporate instructor teachings into all of my sessions. Here’s why yoga intentions are important and why you should set one every practice.
Why You Should Set a Yoga Intention Every Practice:
So what exactly is a yoga intention?
A yoga intention is a dedication, idea or image that serves as a way to connect your yoga practice to your everyday life. The goal of setting an intention is to bridge the gap between the teachings of yoga to life off the mat.
When we start our yoga sessions, we allow ourselves to find stillness and relaxation with the movement of our breath. We allow ourselves to focus on the present moment, becoming aware of our body’s physical and mental state. Yoga intentions are often positive and repetitive mantras, allowing yoga to be a part of our lives all the time—rather than just a form of exercise.
Before the start of each practice, ask yourself how you want to grow as a person. In what ways are you looking to cultivate a new idea into your daily life that makes you feel amazing and alive? It’s pretty obvious whether you’re in your teens, twenties etc. that the world is not a perfect place and neither are we. But with self-reflection and mindfulness, we can rewire our brains and become better people.
For me, I’m a very emotional rollercoaster sort of person. When things are good they’re really freakin’ good. When they’re not, you might as well call me Nancy cause I’m negative AF lol. I often find myself reacting solely on feelings, and not so much logic.
During my yoga practices, I come back with the intention of focusing on my breath. Many times, my stress is induced by anxious thoughts and negativity. When I focus on breathing, it brings me back to the present moment.
What kind of intentions should you set?
To answer that, you need to look inside yourself. How can you grow as a person, and get to where you want to be? With your mantras, steer clear of the word “don’t.” The idea of setting a yoga intention is about what you can DO for yourself, rather than what you can’t.
For example, rather than saying “don’t be anxious” spin it to “I am aware. I am at peace.” Throughout your practice, remember your intention and what you want for yourself. Even when you’re not on the mat, reflect back to your mantra. After all, the purpose of your intention is to bridge the gap between yoga and your everyday life off the mat. Check out more information regarding intentions and mantras from the lovely writers over at Yogi Approved.
*You might also like: how to create a consistent yoga practice.*
Setting an intention before the start of your yoga session is a great way to incorporate mindfulness into your practice. By setting an intention, not only will you be getting a super sexy yoga bod, but you’ll be getting your mind and spirit right too. When times are tough, and you find yourself riding the struggle bus, remember to reflect back to your practice, and your yoga intentions.
What are your favorite intentions you’ve set? Share the love in the comments below!