Setting Your Intentions

One practice that I try to do every time I step onto the mat is to set my intention. I take a moment of gratitude for the fact that I am here and then reflect on what led me here. Sometimes I come to my mat because my body feels antsy and I need to move. Other times I come to my mat because it has become a habit. Sometimes I come to my mat because I am feeling overwhelmed and need a moment for myself to reset. These are all valid reasons to practice yoga because they are all what is happening in my life at that moment.

After acknowledging what brought me to the mat I meditate on what I hope to get from my practice. It is important to focus my intention because that sets the tone for my practice. If I came to the mat because I simply need to move my body, then maybe I will just flow in whatever natural movements feel right in my body that day. If I have come to the mat as a part of my daily routine I might focus on strengthening a specific pose. If I find myself on my mat as an escape for stress I am likely going to spend most of my practice in meditation or find stillness in more restorative poses. My favorite part about a home practice is that you get to decide exactly what your practice looks like every time you step onto your mat.

Besides focusing on what your practices looks like, it is important to focus on what your practice feels like. Set an intention for your mind that you can come back to throughout your practice. Yoga is the connection between the mind and body. An asana practice without meditation or focusing of the mind is simply your body going through the motions. Your intention can be whatever you need that day but should never be negative. Focus on bringing positive energy into your space and let your yoga fill up your cup rather than deplete it.

Surround yourself with things that bring you peace. If you find that your life is busy and full of clutter, create a yoga space that is just for you and free from the things that clutter your life. The area only needs to be big enough for your mat with some room to extend your limbs in all directions. Keep the area clean and do not put anything in that space that will make your mind wander to the responsibilities or worries of everyday life. Let this be your safe space. Some suggestions for this space are your yoga essentials (mat, blocks, strap, etc.), comfy pillows, incense/candles, or cleansing crystals. Meditate in this space and fill the area with peaceful and harmonizing energies.

Let this practice be exactly what you need it to be.



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