"Press your palms together and draw your hands to heart center. Breathe in, exhale close your eyes. Set Your Intention For Your Practice. Bow your head forward, tap your finger tips to your third eye, let's begin."
These are the words that begin each class I teach. The hope is that you can find a purpose greater than the obvious flexibility to enrich your yoga experience. If it were not for the intention, your practice would achieve only some, of several potential goals. The way that I most clearly understand intention is as a (1) session goal setting with your personal trainer.
What did I humbly recognize about myself just before yoga, that I can focus on and unpack for myself while moving my body?
In this dedicated time of yoga, what can I achieve physically that will strengthen my next human interaction?
Can I add layers of mental challenge to my physically difficult practice and achieve more overall?
Setting an intention for your practice provides greater value to the time you have invested. For instance, along with working up a sweat and adding flexibility by practicing your Chaturanga Dandasana, memorizing your Warrior Series, or working on inversions, you get a chance to focus on you. I ask repeatedly "how are you feeling right now?", "are you closer to your goal?", "do you remember your intention?" throughout class so that I can help hold your mind accountable. Just as your muscles need to be trained for strength, your mind has to be trained for focus. Intention is the focus.
Sometimes your intention changes throughout class. This is okay. Remain calm. When you attend class out of ritual and discipline it becomes harder to differentiate classes, so start each class with a simple intention so that any change of focus can be an evolution to when you began.
"To Control My Breath"
"To Accept Changes"
"To Improve Concentration "
Thorough Exam of Goals:
Focus on Goal/Intention often through class to see if there are any similarities between stressful yoga poses and stressful life moments.
Stick with a Goal/ Intention until you are satisfied with your discovery and/ or reached your Goal/ Intention.
Stay open minded, you may not recognize the answer if you expect a specific outcome.
If your intention does change, welcome learning the new lesson.
In yoga, we are learning things we didn't know about ourselves. Be kind to yourself when learning about you.
If your physical practice ever seems less than your expectations, what can you learn about yourself in that moment? Could it be an intention you take with you to your next practice?
Practice with a purpose & discover each layer of the lotus flower, which is your beautiful existance.