In yoga we often hear the term ‘intention setting’. I’m one of those teachers who asks my students to set an intention at the beginning of the class, or weave a practice around one. Sometimes I suggest a specific intention, other times let my students cultivate something for themselves. Often, I’m asked about intention setting and why it’s beneficial, so here’s the ins and outs of intention setting.
What is an intention?
Intention is frequently confused with expectation. An expectation is an outcome, or something you want to receive from the world; whereas, an Intention is a pursuit, or something you want to give. At least in my own classes that’s how we focus. An intention can be broad, or general – there is no right or wrong, it’s just what feels good and makes the most sense for you. Examples: ‘I am…’, ‘I can…’, ‘I will…’
Why do we set intentions?
An intention, or mantra, can seem small in the grand scheme of things. However, in the grand scheme of things we are small and only have the power to change our own lives and selves. So planting a seed of positive thought within ourselves has the power to gravitate rousing energy to the mind and body.
Intention setting won’t immediately change your life, or rid you of any concerns, but it can change our attitude. So, when we set an intention with enough belief and confidence it can slowly bring it to life. That’s the power of the mind.
How to set an intention?
This is the easy part! All you need is your brain. You might want to save your intention for yoga, that’s fine, but intentions can be done anytime or anywhere: the trick is repetition. Commit to one intention or a week, a month or whenever change seems fit and revisit it daily.
Ask yourself, ‘what do I want?’ It’s about making you happy and full. Maybe tie it in with a few minutes meditation, so you can really breath it in and root it. ‘I am calm’, ‘I will be patient’, ‘I can concur my routine’. . .
Take a moment now, whatever you’re doing, wherever you are and set an intention. What would you like to give to you, your day and your life?