Recently I have been reflecting on living with intention. As a yoga teacher, the word “intention” is a part of my daily life. I encourage my students to set a meaningful purpose behind their physical practice whether it be a thought, a word, a prayer, or a dedication. To do this, I ask them to reflect on what motivation they had when they decided to step onto their mats. What did they want to get out of their practice? What do they need to take away from it?
This past weekend I taught my first yoga workshop called, Introduction to Yoga, where I spoke about yoga as a mind-body connection. Despite the assumption of many that yoga is a religion, it is not. It was actually not intended to be one. It was a way for us to relieve physical stress in the body so that the mind would be able to reflect, pray, meditate [whatever each individual needed] without distraction. Because yoga originated in India, there have been influences from Hinduism and Buddhism into yogic philosophy — but it is not the core of yoga. The important thing about your yoga practice is that you are able to utilize your physical practice to release physical and mental stress so that when you leave your mat and enter back into your life — you are able to transform your mindset. You create space in your physical practice so that you can connect with what you NEED and leave behind the things that cause us anxiety.
I was remembering these concepts as I worked through questions and comments at the workshop this weekend. I realized that for me, I utilize that space that I create with my practice, not only for mental clarity, but also for me to be able to sit still before God. So for me, yoga is a means for me to focus in on my spiritual life. It may not be that way for everyone, but that’s a huge part of my life and I am thankful for yoga being an avenue for me to “Be still and know that [He is] God.” (Ps. 46:10).
With that said, I’ve been praying about living more cohesively with my intentions that I set while on my mat. They are often prayers, thoughts, verses, reminders that keep me encouraged, refreshed and focused.
I wanted to share my intention for this week with you all:
“Both faith and fear sail into the harbor of your mind, but only faith should be aloud to anchor.” [author unknown]
My heart is anchored in faith. Fear has no place within me.
I encourage you to write your intention down. Put it at the end of your mat, on your mirror, stick it to the fridge…speak it & make it come alive!
When we make the connection between our mats and our everyday lives, that’s when yoga becomes a lifestyle. It becomes a vehicle for transformation.¬†
Have a beautiful day. Fill it up with only good things.