You know that feeling you have after taking a yoga class? Some call it yoga bliss. You feel a little happier. Life feels a little lighter. You may feel inspired to try something new or take on a new challenge. You might even be motivated to tackle a daunting item on your to-do list. Wish you could bottle up this feeling and carry it with you long after class? You can! Try setting an intention for your next yoga class. Setting an intention is the easiest way to bring your yoga practice into your daily life. It’s also what makes yoga less of a physical exercise and more of a mental exercise.
An intention could be a thought, quality or virtue you choose to think about and focus on during class. Examples of an intention could be Being Present, Gratitude, Patience, Self-Love, Forgiveness, Letting Go or Finding Inner Strength. An intention could also be a big event happening in your life. It could even be another person or an animal. Setting an intention is a great way to help connect whatever you work through on your mat to your thoughts long after class.
When I first started practicing Bikram Yoga over six years ago, my practice was purely physical. Yoga was my workout. It was my gym. Each class, I’d muscle my way through each posture. I’d continually push my body to my edge, even if it didn’t feel all that great. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I started realizing there was more to yoga than just physical exercise. At this point in my practice, I knew the Bikram Yoga sequence like the back of my hand. I didn’t always have to tune in to listen to all of the instructor’s cues for each posture. I was finding myself, more often than not, coming to class with something heavy on my mind. By the end of class, I’d have a plan or solution for how I was going to resolve whatever I had been thinking about. It was like magic. Yoga magic. I’d leave class thinking more positively. I even found myself making better decisions throughout the day. Just like that, yoga had become my good energy creator, positive thought processor and a hell of an effective decision-making machine. The whole concept of a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class being an open-eyed meditation started to make sense to me.
After taking my first yoga class at CorePower Yoga last year, one of the differences I noticed right away from all of the Bikram classes I’d taken over the years was that CPY instructors would always invite everyone to set an intention for their practice. At first, I thought the whole intention setting thing was a bit too “woo woo” for me. Couldn’t we just get to the yoga? After taking a few more classes at CPY, I realized I had already been setting an intention for my practice in my Bikram classes without realizing it. I’d come to class, focus on whatever was rolling around in my head and then take all of the positive thoughts that had come up during class and apply them to my daily life after class.
Whether the instructor guides you into setting an intention for your class or you do this process on your own mentally, know that you can manifest and attract anything into your life when you focus on it. Need a few extra good vibes? Need guidance on making a big decision? Looking for inspiration or motivation to make a change? Want to shift some negative thinking into positive thoughts? Set an intention for yourself during your next yoga class. I guarantee you’ll leave your mat feeling a little better and brighter than when you came to class.