Setting an Intention in Yoga Classes

I remember the moment when one of my yoga teachers said, “…and now in class, you may like to set an intention.” My mind went blank. I had no idea what an intention was all about.

In a nutshell, what you think, you become. Thoughts become things. Intention creates our reality.

An intention is something that has been practised in the east for hundreds of years. And it is starting to popularise in the west. An intention is about bringing your awareness to a quality that you wish to develop.

It is different from a goal where you are working towards something. An intention is the here and now. Gratitude, patience, compassion, courage, kindness, forgiveness, letting go, inner strength, peacefulness, cheerfulness, are all intentions that are often made, and can bring valuable focus to the day.

If you check in with yourself, and let’s say you feel wound up. Instead of saying “I will not stress myself out today,” you can focus on the intention or mantra, “I am at peace.”

Or if your mind is all over the place, you’re thinking about the school run and the traffic across Rugby or what you’re doing at the weekend, what you’re going to eat for dinner, something that’s going on a work, then your intention could be “focus.”

If we are to live up to an intention that we have set, we are stretching ourselves beyond the place we’re currently at – possibly towards a different state of mind, a new action or a new way of feeling, or even a new life path.

So by setting an intention, we actively choose to empower ourselves to make a change. It is a powerful energetic tool that we take off the mat and into the world.

It’s a technique that you can be adopted at any moment in the day. Not just in a yoga class. At the start of a day, before an important conversation, before you go away for a weekend.