To help guide my students I theme my January yoga classes on setting intention. This blog is an easy cheat-sheet on how to set-up your intention effectively.
1- Acknowledge the Present
When I took my first yoga class on Santa Monica beach our instructor asked the group to "set-up an intention". And that right there was the hardest part of my very first guided yoga class.
Millions of things crossed my mind like; "my intention is not to get kicked out of a business while cold calling", " to lose 3 pounds", " relax", and more stuff that just did not fully resonate...
I realized that in order to set-up an intention I needed to fully arrive to the present moment, acknowledge everything as is, so that I can work on what I want it to be. So before taking next steps, acknowledge your current state of mind, and situation.
2- Practice Gratefulness
Life is not always rainbows and puppies. When things are not going our way there is always someone, something, somewhere that makes life better instantaneously. A great way to commit to an intention is to think about the sensations that we get from this thing that we are grateful for.
Take a couple breaths to focus on these sensations, and send gratitude.
3- Forgive and Let Go
It does not matter what the intention is regarding, if you cannot let go of part of the past that is holding you back, you cannot fully arrive to your new intended state.
What you may need to forgive and let go may be a physical or mental thing. For example, if you are trying to do a head stand but last time you did it you had a face plant (which happens to me often) you need to let go, so you can start with new perspective.
If it is someone you need to forgive including yourself, same type of thing, admit it- nobody is perfect, and let go. Take a couple of breaths, with each exhale let go of what does not serve you anymore, with each inhale invite in peace, and one thing that will help you work on your intention and serve you better.
It may come as a shock, but let's admit it, we just don't know everything, at least not to the point that subject matter experts do.
This one is just as hard as the other steps, unless we fully think about it we may not be able to identify the right person, book, or thing that can guide us to fully experience our intention.
Go back to within, take the time to identify what guidance you need to achieve your goals. Even if you may not get the answer right away, you will start creating more opportunities that will get you closer.
Remember You Will Never Walk Alone!
5- Intention Off Your Mat
Unlike a goal that has a certain reaching point, intentions provide unlimited growth opportunity as you improve. Intentions become a part of your personality which then can be utilized to achieve your goals, and be happier under your skin at all times.
I recommend practicing yoga everyday; physical practice, pranayama, yoga sutras, meditation, any of these will help you work on your intention on daily basis and will help you carry your intention to your daily life.
If you can improve every day, why cheat yourself with less!
Setting intentions can help you stick to your goals, to your resolutions, and help you with grounding growth.
Here are a couple resources to learn more about gratitude: