Setting intentions

January 13, 2012 / Aaron

We've all set our new years resolutions, but how do you carry that over and set intentions for your yoga practice? When asked to set an intention or dedication at the beginning of class do you just sit there and wonder what it should be? I know that feeling. So here's one of my favorite ways to do just that at the beginning of a practice.

Begin to focus on the feeling of the breath moving in the body. Take your time and as the mind starts to quiet and melt away find from that deep inner place two words that you want for your practice or deep feelings that come up. Look for an adjective and a verb - but it doesn't have to be those two things - and usually some variation of those first thoughts is the right thing as crazy as it may sound to you. Here's some examples:

Deep / Healing
Calming / Energy
Patient / Fearlessness
Open / Breath
Playful / Motivation
Smile / Release
Relaxing / Stretch
Quiet / Peace
Strength / Honor

Okay, while I'm pretty sure the last one came from the movie "Gladiator", you get the picture. Once you have your two words, on the inhale say to yourself the first word, and on the exhale say the second word. Don't be afraid to revisit it as you move through your practice. Go back to it at the end as you cool down and during that peaceful moment before "namaste" is called. Sometimes the two words that come up make no sense but there is no right or wrong answer here. There's a very deep reason those words come up for you in that particular moment. Honor that. It has a way of tapping into that which we need most in the moment and that's a beautiful thing. You might even find that it lines up with your new years resolutions.

[caption id="attachment_785" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Roman Colosseum."]Rome[/caption]