Set an Intention in Yoga
Whether you’re a new or experienced yogi, when you attend a class, your instructor may invite you to set an intention. These intentions will carry through your practice, and hopefully through the rest of your day. It can be difficult to think of an intention on the spot, especially if you don’t understand the point of it. While it’s not required to set an intention, you can always put your focus on your breathing, poses, and relaxing. As you become more familiar with intentions, you can maximize the meditative benefits of yoga by thinking of someone you love, sending energy to someone you know in need, or honoring your own efforts to develop compassion, build strength, and take time for yourself.
Mantras, like intentions, can help enhance your yoga practice through powerful affirmations, which can invoke a shift your mind’s state. Once you’ve decided on an intention, you can use the powerful affirmations of mantras to channel your energy into making magic happen. Mantras mainly help you to focus your energy on the goal or state of being.
Examples of intentions to set
If you want to set an intention in yoga, but aren’t sure where you want to start, you can be broad in what your intentions are, but also keep them simple.
- Accept and love yourself, so you can, in turn, accept and love others
- Practice being non-judgmental
- Invite softness into your life
- Cultivate your personal power and invite strength into your life
- Send positive energy to someone you know facing an emotional or physical challenge
- Develop openness, so you can face the world with more openness
- Dedicate today’s practice to someone in need, or a world issue currently resonating with you
Examples of mantras to set
- I am that I am
- I am grateful
- I am at peace
- I am a magnet for miracles
- I am aware
- I am awake
- I am perfect
- I am one with humanity
- I am the light, and the light is in me
- I am love
Why set an intention?
Setting an intention during yoga is solely up to the individual practicing. It’s done because our thoughts are powerful. When we’re on the mat, we’re creating energy - and channeling that energy into something meaningful can benefit you longer than just your time on the mat.
When you set an intention, be sure to check in with it while you’re practicing yoga. Using visualization techniques, your intention could be a fire or a balloon that gets bigger with each breath you take or pose you shift into. Your movements directly feed into the energy of your intention, which gives it strength.
When you’ve wrapped up class for the day, explore different ways you can carry your intention throughout the rest of your day, week, or life. A helpful way to check in with yourself is to write your intention down, take a picture, and set is as your phone’s wallpaper to remind yourself of what you’re trying to cultivate not only in your practice, but in your life.