Have you ever been in a yoga class where the teacher has encouraged you to ‘set an intention’ at the beginning of the class? The first few times I heard this, I honestly didn’t know an ‘intention’ meant. Then, once a teacher gave some examples one class, I started to slowly grasp the concept but my intentions weren’t exactly the most inspiring. ‘Just get through it’ and ‘Stop worrying about how much you suck’ were pretty common in my early days, whereas these days they tend to be less literal and a little more abstract (and oftentimes completely unrelated to anything related to yoga).
If you’re newer to your practice then absolutely feel free to set your intention about something to do with the class. Personal favourites of mine include ‘Stay with your breath’ and ‘Engage your bandhas’ but anything you’re currently working on is perfect! If you want to maybe take your intentions a little deeper, then maybe relate them to what’s going on with your life at the moment. I personally remember a period where every single time I stepped on to my mat my intention was to get over my ex – and low and behold, I did! Maybe it was yoga, maybe it was time, or maybe (probably) it was a combination of both. Regardless, it felt really really good to feel like I was actively working towards that peace and happiness rather than just waiting and hoping.
My personal favourites these days involve thinking of a quality I need more of in my life. Patience, determination, perseverance, compassion, abundance and strength all get frequent mentions. Some days it’s pretty specific, and other days more general, but really it’s about letting the universe know what you want.
Setting an intention is completely personal and as such, simply can’t be wrong. It’s YOUR practice, YOUR intention and YOUR life so do whatever feels right for you! So come prepared to class - whether the teacher suggests for you to set an intention or not feel free to set it anyways. Hopefully you start to see some amazing changes starting to trickle into your life from now on!