Why Set An Intention For A Yoga Class?

India 2011 162At the beginning of each yoga class I teach I set an intention, or focus, for the session. It might be something like love, being present, detachment, connecting with stillness, playfulness and so on. What is the point of it though?

I am a big fan of intention, in fact I am writing a blog/book on it. An intention is similar to a goal, something you would like to create in your life but it’s also a way of being. You can choose how you are being in every moment of life by having the intention to do so. The idea is that what you want in your life you can access within you right now, it’s a way of “being the goal”.

For example if you are looking for love, then be love. Be loving to yourself and everyone you come into contact with.

If you want less stress then be peaceful.

If you want more money, be giving, open up to an abundant mindset and be grateful of all you have.

When you are living with intention you have a purpose, a drive, a chosen way of being that you have decided upon. As Deepak Chopra explains where you place your attention that area grows but where you place your intention it transforms.

In a yoga class when you set an intention you have an opportunity to explore different ways of being in life and what impact that has on how you think and feel. How we move our bodies reflects what is going on in our mind. For example if you are very goal driven and caught up in a mindset of trying hard and striving, then you might be quite forceful, direct, tense in your body and your movement. Playing around with focusing on being peaceful instead, consciously relaxing your body through out the class will give you a different experience of being. From this insights may appear that you can take into life off the mat.

Your breath, physiology, state and performance are all interlinked.  If you change your breathing it will have an impact on your body, what state you are in and how you behave. if you change how you move your body, that also will change your breathing, state and performance. Change your state and that also creates change in the other areas.

A great way to test this is when you are feeling a bit down to go and skip down the road, or hula hoop. I guarantee it will lift you out of the state you were in.

So back to intention, by focusing on a way of being for the hours class it will start to create a shift in how you are thinking, feeling, breathing and moving. I love intention, it simply empowers how you are in your life.

How about trying out and setting an intention for today?

My intention today is least resistance, I am going to move through my day relaxed, not trying to force anything to happen or having the need to get across my point of view. I am just going to go with the flow and enjoy the day with ease. Sounds lovely….. 🙂