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Yoga Intentions

Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 25 years now….and yeah, I’m only 35 years old (okay, fine, almost 36). 

But seriously, as someone who started practicing at a very young age (shout out to everyone who had a yoga teacher for a mom, and gets it), I can still say with confidence that this practice has stuck around in my life due to the impact it has on me physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

To put it simply: yoga works. It just does. 

One of the best things about the yoga practice is that it’s so much more than just physical exercise. In fact, yoga asana (the postures) are only a small part of the yoga practice as a whole. 

Trust me, I know that when you go to an everyday yoga class the yoga teachers are mostly going to emphasize what you can do with your body. But the truth is that you can deepen your yoga practice without using your body at all. 

If you take my classes then you’ll know that setting an intention is always a part of the experience. Not only does this help you to drop into the present moment in order to listen to your heart, but it also gives the physical shapes a deeper purpose, as well. 

I’d almost argue that if you don’t have intentions for your yoga practice, then you’re not really doing yoga….at all. 

Isn’t that just gymnastics? Or strength training? Or calisthenics? 

Needless to say, setting an intention for your yoga practice is important! And if you’re new to it…don’t worry. I’ve got you. 

Today’s post is dedicated to sharing all about yoga intentions so that you can take your yoga practice to the next level today.

Learn more about intention setting in my post on how to prepare for ayahuasca retreat.

Practice intention setting in my 21 Day Chakra Reset series

Yoga Intentions

Yoga Intentions

Here’s the thing, when you combine the principles of yoga with the power of intention setting, not only will your practice elevate…but so will the rest of your life. 

Sounds extreme, I know. But hear me out. 

When we’re paying attention to what our heart is asking for, you’re more connected to your truest self. Not your self that’s on autopilot in Zoom meetings, or the self who’s zoning out on their commute to work. 

But your true, authentic Self (capital S). 

When you can practice connecting to your authentic Self, even if just for a brief moment when you close your eyes on your mat, then you’re more likely to be able to access that same connection even when you’re off of your mat. 

Plus, setting a yoga intention is a great way to create positive dialogue with yourself, as you’re speaking with encouragement, inspiration, and compassion. 

Practice your yoga intentions with me in my 21 Day Chakra Reset series

What Is A Yoga Intention

I like to keep it simple when I describe a yoga intention: it’s your why

Why did you show up to your mat?

I know it’s easy to try to think about the perfect answer. But instead, I like to encourage my students to feel into it. 

I know the word intention can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but I find when you boil it down to just why, it’s a lot easier to access. 

It’s also nice to constantly be reminded why you’re showing up to your mat when it gets hard, or you get bored, or you want to tune out. Your intention helps to keep you grounded in the now, rather than float away to planning what’s for dinner, or your to-do list. 

Try your new yoga intention with me in my 21 Day Chakra Reset series

What Does It Mean To Set An Intention In Yoga

Setting a yoga intention is simple, it’s connecting to your why in your practice. Why did you show up to your mat today?

Don’t forget, you’re allowed for your why to be physical. You’re also allowed for your why to be mental, emotional, or spiritual. Or maybe a little bit of everything!

Setting a yoga intention helps to center your mind before you practice physically, so that you can give your asana practice more meaning while keeping your mind anchored to the why. This helps to improve focus, and increase the longevity of staying present.

Check out my 21 Day Chakra Reset series for more!

How To Set A Yoga Intention

How To Set A Yoga Intention

I know that setting a yoga intention might sound intimidating. 

How do I listen to my heart? How do I feel more than I think? And how do I know my why?

I’ll make it super simple for you with the guide below. You’ll be setting intentions in no time!

Feel More Than You Think

When you take my classes, then you know that I always offer intention setting at the beginning of the class. 

Typically, this is done with closed eyes, but if that’s not comfortable for you then you can simply soften your gaze so that as little light comes in as possible. This helps to turn your gaze inward. 

When you turn your gaze inward, then you’re able to listen to your heart, rather than follow your monkey mind trying to make sense of everything. 

If you’re still struggling to listen to your heart, then do your best to simply let the first answer bubble up to the surface when you ask yourself why you’re showing up to your mat. Usually that first answer is your heart, not your mind. 

Focus Your Intention

Now that you know what your why is, you can focus on your intention. In my classes, I like to offer the visual of actually tying your intention onto your breath. 

We all know that the breath is the most important component of the yoga practice. Those same early moments of the class are dedicated to creating a smooth, steady cadence to your breath which creates a grounding presence. 

When you attach your intention to your breath, the two serve as an anchor to keep you present throughout the class, while keeping you in your body rather than your mind. 

Appreciate What You Have

When it comes to intention setting, it’s so important to remember to create an intention from a place of positivity, hope, or gratitude- rather than lack, self loathing, or pity. 

Intentions are meant to be reminders to help you get to your highest potential, rather than punishing you for being less than. 

Don’t forget that when you practice with an intention, you’re doing so without attachment to outcome. Meaning, you love yourself whether you “achieve” your why, or not. 

Yoga Intention examples

Find Stillness

After teaching yoga for 10 years, I can say with certainty that most people are able to access their true yoga intention from the heart when they take a moment to be still. 

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you have to sit stick straight for hours on end. You can stay still in a comfortable position, as well. 

But oftentimes stillness allows us to actually see, hear, and feel things more clearly. 

Yoga Intention Examples

  • I am strong.
  • I am seeking inner strength.
  • I came here for love.
  • I am committed to moving mindfully.
  • I promise to listen to my body. 
  • I am capable.
  • I will listen to my breath above all else. 
  • My breath guides me. 
  • The present moment is right now. 
  • I am grounded. 
  • My body speaks to me in the language of sensation. 
  • I am listening. 
  • I am connected. 
  • I let go of expectations. 
  • I am open to receiving. 
  • Gratitude is available to me. 
  • My heart is open. 
  • I choose courage. 
  • I believe in my own capability. 
  • I embrace change. 
  • I allow myself to be surprised. 
  • I remain curious.
  • I am committed to my own joy.
Yoga Intentions

Let me know some of your favorite yoga intentions in the comments below!

And don’t forget to train with me online for more guidance. 

xx, 

K

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