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Yoga Practice: Set your Intention

Many of you have been in a yoga class and at the beginning of the yoga practice, your teacher might have invited you to set an intention. I remember the first time I heard my yoga teacher encouraging me to set my intention for the class, why I was there, what I wanted to achieve from my yoga practice, which my expectations were. I’ll be honest with you; it sounded a bit weird, a bit bizarre, I didn’t even know what this really meant, but I do know now.

What is an intention?

Your thoughts are powerful and so your intentions too. An intention is a quality that you want to carry with you for the duration of your yoga practice and even beyond. Intentions are positive, supportive statements that bring inner peace, long-term motivation and immediate focus. It might be a single word like ‘’compassion’’, ‘’love’’, ‘’forgiveness’’, or a mantra like ‘’I’m in peace’’, ‘’I’m grateful’’ or even a sentence like ‘’I accept and embrace the challenges’’. Intentions are set to amplify your mental clarity and your overall mental state and perspective.

Why to set an intention?

Setting an intention before your yoga practice is a way to put your thoughts in order, to prioritise what matters to you more and to help you to deepen your focus into your practice. Your thoughts create your reality! By putting the mind to work in harmony and getting the negative thoughts out of your head, you cultivate a quality or virtue you wish to have in your life, both on and off of your mat and you raise your awareness of where to focus on and where to invest your energy on. An intention also acts as a reminder throughout your yoga practice when your mind wanders or becomes distracted or when your body faces a challenging asana. Setting an intention helps you invoke a positive shift in your mental state and will train you to stay committed to that quality even off of your mat.

Next time you step on your mat, take the time to choose wisely your intention. You can revisit your intention as many times as you want during your practice, but make sure to come back to it at the end of your practice. In this way, you will reinforce your intention and it’ll be easier for you to carry it off the mat as well.

Thinking of how to show your love?

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