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What Exactly ARE Intentions

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Yoga teachers talk about intentions a lot, but rarely to they go into exactly what it is or why we set them. So let me explain...

Setting intentions empowers us to decide what we want and how to experience life. Many things are out of our control, but intention setting allows us to take ownership of our lived experience. For starters, intentions generally align with your values or life purpose. If you aren't sure what that is, I encourage you to do some journaling and go inward to see what you really want out of this week, this month, this life. There are great worksheets out there to help you establish your values, including the "Living Into Our Values" worksheet and podcast episode that does a deep dive on values.

Some key things to know before setting an intention:

  1. Intentions are not goals. Goals are static and are set in the future. Intentions are in the here and now; about being instead of acquiring or achieving.

  2. They can be done anytime, as often as possible. The beginning or a day or week is a great time for this, or even the beginning of your yoga practice.

  3. They can change. You are never beholden to an intention since we are human and we are constantly evolving and changing, and so must our intentions.

How to set intentions:

  1. Identify the desire. Big or small. In your yoga practice maybe ask yourself, what brought you to your mat today?

  2. Get clear and precise. If goals are about doing, intentions are about being. If it helps, bring it into a sentence "I intend to.... {fill in the blank}".

  3. Identify obstructions or limitations. This could be physical, mental, or emotional based. How can you soften the edges around your limitations to be more malleable and flexible.

  4. Break it down/reinforcement. If you intend to be more joyful, what will you do daily or weekly to support your intention?

  5. Surrender. Release your strong grip of your intention and detach from the outcome. Attachment is based in fear and insecurity, while detachments is based in belief in yourself.

Bring intention setting into your yoga practice and empower yourself to live your life in line with your purpose.

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