Happy New Year everyone!
If you attend enough yoga classes, at some point you will have heard your teacher “set an intention” for the class (Love, Love, Love is always the best intention). And if you come to my classes, you've heard me mention that I set one intention for my whole year, rather than coming up with a new intention every yoga class, or every day.#doyogadaily
In Latin to set intention means "direct attention or to stretch toward something". In Sanskrit the word translates to Sankalpa and is defined as "a representation of a desire or positive thought that you want to manifest in the world, a promise you make to yourself".
Last year my intention was Gentle and then it became apparent that I also needed to seek Balance; sometimes they blended into one: gentle-balance, gentle-balance. Over the year I turned to my intention(s) through all the ups and downs that 2018 brought me, my family, my community, my country and our planet.
A yoga practice gives us the tools to be present in this life as a decent person, a better person. The work we do on our yoga mats or our meditation cushions (setting intention, staying present in boredom and distraction, focusing on breath rather than thoughts) helps us to be present, even with discomfort, and this affects our lives in profound ways, beyond anything we could fathom, off our yoga mat or meditation cushion. When we turn to our intention, when we lean on our intention, we also allow it to work us deeply and cultivate our emotional intelligence. This is powerful for our communities and our planet.
I like this astrologer Eric Francis and he explains present life and a remedy for it like this: "We live in terribly confusing, exhausting times, where there seems to be little guidance available. I think the first thing we need to do, though, is frame the issues we're facing, get a sense of the environment, and make decisions about how to take care of ourselves."
One way I plan to take care of myself, other people, and the environment around me in 2019 is with the yearly intention of Gratitude. I'm in a place where I need a daily reminder to turn to it; I simply need more of it in my life.
I invite you to spend some time today letting your intention for 2019 reveal itself to you. Just take a few centering breaths, turn your attention inwards and ask yourself: What intention serves my best interests this year? Write down the first things that come to you. If you feel doubt, keep doing this until you know the one that truly resonates with your heart. Try a few out during your yoga classes and meditations this month and see which one sticks.
Happy New Year!
”I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.” ~ Gandhi