At the beginning of class I like to have my students take a moment to center on the breath and set an intention for their practice. On the inhale we bring intention into alignment with the breath, on the exhale we extend intention out into the world around us. Setting an intention as we go into our practice allows us to practice with purpose. We can also dedicate the energy of our practice to a place in the world, or someone in our lives that might need a little extra energy. When we move with purpose we have a greater connection to our bodies, our minds and our spirits.
I also recommend my students keep a yoga practice journal. Writing down the intentions back into the world when we leave our mats. With each breath we take we pull our intention down into our bodies. Each out breath pushed intention into the world, and fueled with movement gives birth to creation. Yoga means “to yoke” or “to unite”, but what are you yoking yourself to. Often people come to class to escape, or they bring their problems to the mat hoping to work them out. If you focus on a negative thought as you move through practice you’ll be breathing that thought into all aspects of your being. Shifting to a positive affirmation allows us to align with purpose and not defeat.
You don’t have to wait for class to set and breathe in intentional space. Take a moment right now and do this simple meditation:
- Focus on an intention, a positive word, an affirmation
- Take a deep breath into the body, down deep into the core of your being
- Hold the breath for a count of 4
- Exhale just as deeply as you inhaled, let your intention embrace the reality around you
- Continue this process for as long as you need.
- Even just doing this for a single round is powerful.
Doing this process at the start of the day allows you to bring connection into the start of your day, the same is true if you do this before bed and take intention into the dream world.
You are Loved. You are Beautiful. You are Divine!
Michael A Brazell