Day 11 of 31: Setting your Intention in Yoga Class


Good Evening Readers!

Many of you who practice yoga in a studio, or even at home with a video, have probably heard the teacher say, at the beginning of class “Take a moment here to set your intention.”  Ok…sure… “I intend to survive this yoga class without face planting!”


What does this mean?  First of all, it is YOUR body, YOUR mind, YOUR mat and YOUR practice, so even if I tell you something, or if you read anything online or in books, it is YOU who determines what an intention for your practice is.  I like to think of an intention as something that I want to take from my yoga mat (the now) out into the life I have when I am not doing postures (the future).  So many of us who swear by yoga were ones who came to it for its physical benefits first, and then discovered that there was something more that we gained from being on the mat, besides endorphins, more balance, flexibility and strength.   At first it might be hard to put your finger on what that “something more” is, but eventually you will find it, and will want it more!

Some people say it is wrong to call an intention a goal, or that it is not really appropriate to set an intention at the end of your yoga practice, but I don’t think so.  For example, when I am in a balance pose (usually tree), I quickly can feel what my body has been trying to tell me all day.  Meaning, if I wobble constantly and cannot stay up despite the fact that yesterday I was a tree goddess, I usually have the lightbulb go off about, “Hmm, was I balanced today?”  It is then that I can usually admit to myself, “Nope- didn’t eat any protein at all today,” or “Wow, I really didn’t balance my time between work and home like I should.”  That is pretty much my favorite thing about yoga- that you are a lifelong learner of everything while doing it, especially about yourself.

So, as you find your mat in the upcoming days, set an intention that gives you purpose or insight to yourself.  If you aren’t feeling as strong in your arm balances as you normally are, maybe is there something going on in your life where your confidence or strength of your faith is low?  There is your intention – to proceed with a positive attitude and trusting yourself to do what you need.

My tip for setting an intention:  Make it SMART!

Specific – to YOU and your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Measurable – how will you know if you followed through?

Attainable – you have to be able to do it healthily and reasonably without burning out or losing the moment!

Relevant – to how you are feeling at that moment!

 Teach you – about yourself in some way

Short one tonight!  I know this feels a bit unfinished, but I am super sleepy!  More info on that tomorrow!

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