At the start of every yoga class at Peak Physique Hot Yoga, we set an intention. But what does this mean to you?
An intention can be seen in different lights- it may be a goal, a state of mind, a focus or even just mindfulness. Everyday life is stressful, eventful, surprising and busy, so our minds can often become cluttered and we lose sight of what is important to us. We set an intention with an aim to clear all this away, and to focus on something positive and sincere. Doing this at the start of class allows your yoga practice to become a tool in achieving your life goals.
‘But how?’ you may ask. Well, everyone is different and everyone has a different intention, but we have some tips on how to put these intentions into action through your yoga practice.
Focus on the one thing
Sometimes, at the start of class, our minds are still racing from life outside of the studio. This makes it hard to select one intention from the goals and to-do lists that are rushing about inside our heads. To choose one, try selecting the first one that comes naturally to mind. It may not be what you expect, but perhaps your subconscious mind is selecting an intention for you. Allowing an intention to come organically allows for a natural selection.
Your intention should be about YOU. You are the only person that you can control and your yoga practice should be your time. Try not to let external factors such as other people or outside situations become part of your intention.
Use your breath
You may have heard your instructor saying things like ‘on your inhale, breathe your intention to the forefront of your mind’ or ‘push your intention down into your heart space with your exhale.’ This may seem strange at first, but visualizing your intention as a physical element and using your breath to move it through your body is a great way to focus on it.
Reflect your intention through your postures
We believe that any intention can be reflected through your practice. For example, your intention may be ‘strength,’ and you may feel yourself achieving this by holding your poses just that little bit longer. Perhaps your intention is to ‘love yourself,’ in which case you could spend the entire class ensuring that any negative thoughts about how you look or your yoga ability are pushed out of your mind (using your exhale!). These are just examples, but there are always ways to connect your intentions to your postures! Try it!
We set an intention at the beginning of class, but try to remember to bring your mind back to it during the class. Especially during more challenging poses, this can really have grounding and encouraging effect.
REMEMBER: Intentions aren’t just for yoga practice- you can set your own intentions daily to live a more fulfilled and happy life! Suzanna and Mike do this on a daily basis!
Suzanna’s intention for today was:
‘my intention today is to open my heart by doing what I love… Cooking a healthy scrumptious meal full of love!! ‘
And Mike’s intention was:
‘Gratitude. I am grateful for having such a beautiful wife, waking up to a sunny beautiful morning & for being fit & healthy’
Seems simple, right? RIGHT! And it is these simple kinds of intentions that help us to feel happy, focused and to live our best lives.