At Your Next Yoga Class, Set An Intention

In many yoga classes, you may hear the instructor at the beginning of the class ask the students to “set an intention”. While many of us have heard this request, do we really know what or how we are supposed do this. What does this mean anyways?

Well, I decided to do a little research and see if I could get a better understanding of what this “intention” stuff is all about. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “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.” Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV.4.5)

An intention is a thought of consciousness that plants a seed in your mind. Your intention needs to be released during the yoga practice and allowed to grow and flourish throughout the practice. 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.

By focusing on an intention, you are focusing your mind inward and not on the external world around us. Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Yoga is about disconnecting from the external world and focusing inward. Realizing the ultimate reality and happiness from within.

So at your next yoga class, whether your instructor asks you to set an intention or not, go ahead and make yoga more than an exercise class, plant that seed, and set an intention for yourself.