Yoga Benefits: Setting Intentions

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Yoga Benefits: Setting Intentions

“You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

-The Upanishads

According to the most ancient of yoga texts, we are nothing without our intentions, as our intentions are the manifestation of our deepest desire. 

In this month where we have been playing with and exploring that around us which inspires, we may now be prepared to take a look at what we’d like to make out of those inspirations

On the mat we call this intention setting a sankalpa, and it is one of the most beautiful ways to begin a yoga journey, and can be applied liberally off the mat as well.

By sitting in a quiet space for a few moments at the start of our practice, taking stock of where we are, and what we have for this day, we can see what it is that we NEED from this practice.

The next time you are sitting (or laying on your mat) prior to the start of class, close your eyes, take a few resting breaths, and see what word first pops into your mind.

Preferably one that relates to yoga 🙂 If that seems to fit how you are feeling that day, go with it! If the first one that floats into the mind doesn’t quite fit, take a gentle hold on the next word, until you find that one that fits on this day.

So often, we find ourselves doubting the power of our own intentions, and our ability to influence the outcomes of simple events.

There are days where we even doubt our ability to influence our own thoughts. However, as shown in many scientific studies, the placebo effect, when a person’s belief in either treatment or side effects has an impact on treatment.

The mind has a powerful influence over our habits and our actions!

As Sankalpas are considered a Vow, or a deeply held belief, they should be stated in the present tense.

This is something that we believe and care about in THIS moment.

Once we set this intention, we should hold this intention with us and see how we can incorporate it into our practice.

We may notice that our sankalpas over time have a theme, or that we consistently try using the same intention for a time to see how this influences our practice, both on and off the mat.

Some one word sankalpas:

  • Peace
  • Love
  • Quiet
  • Kindness
  • Forgiveness

Feel free to choose your own!

Next week we will discuss the power of mantas or affirmations as possible sankalps as well. Best of luck bring your intentions forward to make positive change.

These and more will be discussed at our upcoming workshop!