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How To Set An Intention

Have you ever taken a yoga class before? If you have…and especially if you’ve taken my classes…then chances are you were asked to create an intention for your practice. 

While it’s a common component of many yoga classes, that doesn’t necessarily mean you knew what the heck you were supposed to do. 

So, if you were feeling kind of lost in that moment.  You know, kind of like:

What exactly is an intention, and how am I supposed to set one?

Don’t worry. You are certainly not alone in feeling a little lost. 

Sadly this can happen a lot with yoga jargon, in that it can leave students feeling more confused than it does empowered. 

Look, I don’t want to place the blame fully on the yoga teacher. Maybe I’m biased, but I have to hope that we’re all doing our best. 

The truth is that your teacher probably assumed you knew what that meant, because you’d been to their classes before. Or, they didn’t describe how to do it, because of the level of the class. 

Either way, let’s demystify the yoga speak with a practical understanding of what an intention is, and how to set one. 

Today’s post will share a step-by-step guide on how to set an intention so that you can bring this powerful tool into your yoga practice, also into your daily life. 

Learn more about common yoga jargon like chakras in this post that helps you understand how to unblock the heart chakra.

How To Set An Intention

When I talk about intention setting, I see people’s faces give me the same look as they do when I talk about meditation. 

It’s like a mix of being a little afraid, a little intrigued, and a little bored all at once. Kind of like a glaze over, if you will. 

I get it, mindfulness and meditation aren’t quite as alluring as the big bad yoga poses that might draw you in. But the impacts of these practices can supersede yoga asana (yoga postures) by a long shot.

Don’t believe me?

You’ll just have to keep reading so you can find out for yourself. 

Learn more about why you need to meditate HERE

Try moving meditations HERE

Allow me to guide your meditation practice for a FREE 7 day trial.

How To Set An Intention

What Is An Intention

Okay, so if we’re talking like Webster version as to what an intention is, then you’ll find something like this:

“A thing intended; an aim or plan.”

But if you want something a little less…dry? Then let’s keep it simple:

Your intention is your WHY. 

Why are you showing up?

Why did you choose this class, this studio, this teacher?

Why did you choose this relationship, or this moment?

Your intention is your why.

Benefits of Using An Intention

  • Keeps you grounded.
  • Gives you direction.
  • Provides purpose.
  • Brings deeper meaning.
  • Connection to your heart.
  • Dropping into the emotional body.
  • Using your felt sense.
  • Exercising intuition muscle.
  • Keeps you connected to yourself.

The benefits of using an intention are truly unparalleled. 

I’d especially recommend using an intention if you feel that you’re indecisive, ungrounded, or confused. 

Learn more about how to get grounded HERE

Try my 21 Day Chakra Reset to learn more about intention and movement.

When To Use An Intention

So, I know we’re talking about using an intention with our yoga practice, but the truth is we can apply intention to just about everything that we do in life. 

Sure, start with it on your yoga mat, but bring that practice with you into the rest of your day. 

You will notice the difference it makes. And guess what? So will the people around you.

Try my 21 Day Chakra Reset series to learn more about intention and movement. 

Yoga Practice

At this point, we all understand how intention can be helpful in our yoga practice. 

And, trust me, if you take my classes then you’ll definitely hear me ask you to set an intention. 

Every. Single. Time. 

Whether you practice with me, with another teacher, on a retreat, or just totally on your own…try bringing an intention into your practice.

Practice with me for FREE 7 day trial.

Setting intentions in yoga practice

Relationships

You can also bring intention into your relationships. Think about everything from romantic relationships, to family, friends, and everything in between. 

Each relationship might have a different intention, because each person you’re in a relationship with is different. 

Using an intention in your relationships is also a great way to reflect on the relationship itself, and to get more grounded in what you need out of it.

Learn more about what to know before working with your partner HERE.

Eating

I can’t get through a post about intention and not mention intuitive eating, can I? I mean, c’mon, eating is the perfect time to use intention. 

Learn more about how you can achieve food freedom in this post HERE

Or, check out the Intuitive Eating book by Evelyn Tribole HERE.

Intuitive Eating

Social Media

Having a WHY when it comes to social media is everything. Not just because of the business side of needing a mission statement and all that. 

But because when you show up online without a WHY, people can see right through that. And even with the best strategy in the world…it just won’t *work* the way you want it to. 

Learn more about how to leverage social media HERE.

Work

Having intention at work, regardless of what you do, is a really great way to stay grounded in yourself, rather than getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. 

Why are you doing this work? Why did you choose this job? 

Get clear on your why, and take note of how this impacts your work flow moving forward.

Intention Setting Guide

I’m hoping at this point I’ve sold you on the power of intention setting, and you’re ready to learn my simple guide on how the heck to do it. 

Let’s get into it. 

Step 1: Go Inward

Go ahead and sit up nice and tall wherever you are, let your hands rest into your lap or onto your body. 

Soften your eyes, or close them completely. Just try to let as little light in as possible. 

Now, take a full inhale through the nose all the way down to your low belly so that your stomach inflates like a balloon. Hold there for a beat. 

When you’re ready, slow steady exhale through the mouth that’s even longer than the inhale. 

Notice how you feel. 

You just went inward!

Step 2: Access Your Heart

Ideally, you stay in that inward state to access the heart. 

That means you’ll keep breathing mindfully in and out through the nose after that one long open mouth exhale. 

Staying super connected to your breath, do your best to access your heart. Look into it, feel into it, get curious about it. 

Step 3: Tune Into How You Feel

Remember that your heart is the place where you feel

Keeping a strong connection to the flow of your breath can help you stay connected to that place of feeling and being, rather than thinking and doing

Check out my Feel To Heal yoga series to learn more about feeling the entire spectrum of human emotions. 

Step 4: Try To Turn Off Logic

Do your best to stay in this place of feeling. That means you’ve turned off the mind to the best of your ability, and opened the heart, instead.

I know it can be hard, and it might just be a fleeting moment or two where you really feel it. 

Do your best to stay in that place, rather than worrying about if it makes sense. 

Step 5: Let It Be

Now that you’re inward, you’re connected to your heart, and you’re feeling, you’re ready to set your intention. 

Typically your heart’s calling will just kind of bubble up and out of you here. Almost like it can’t even be controlled. 

Allow whatever to come up, come out. Be okay with whatever it is. 

In fact, allow yourself to be surprised

The truth is that learning how to set an intention means that you’re listening to your intuition. Trust that won’t lead you astray….because it won’t. 

How To Set An Intention

Let me know how it goes once you start adding intention setting into your life in the comments below!

Try my Feel To Heal Series for more.

xx, 

K

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