Friday, December 21, 2007

Why Intentions?

Sometimes, a teacher will remind us to start our yoga practice by setting an intention. It could be anything: an intention to be stronger in balancing poses, to stay with the breath more or to be more mindful. When I first tried Hot Yoga, I was not used to the heat. So my intention was often simply to stay in the room until the end of class. Sometimes, right before a challenging class, my intention is just to try my best. Perhaps the poses are not available to me today. That is fine. I just want to try my best.

I find that setting an intention can serve as a reminder to what is important. It has helped me keep focus.

Some call it Goals, others call it Resolutions – but these words feel too "checklist" to me -- as though the ends is all it matters. I prefer intentions.

Intention guides the action. It conveys purpose, direction and deliberation. Intention is not about achievement or ends. Rather, it is asking yourself why you do what you need to do. There is no deadline, no failure – just working towards a purpose, a mission.

Most importantly, it states an active choice in our actions. That I, out of my own free will, chooses to practice yoga on a regular basis. I choose to be kind. I choose to let go. I choose to be vegetarian. I choose to forgive.

I choose my life.

Every time I reaffirm the power I have over my own life, the difficulties and obstacles that are part and parcel of everyday life becomes just that little bit more bearable.

What are your intentions for 2008? What are your intentions for your life?

3 comments:

Nymeth said...

Very nice post, and I completely agree that even if we don't always succeed, remembering we have a choice does make things much more bearable.

For 2008, I intend to be patient, to be strong, to bear the changes that will inevitable come calmly and to work hard to bring my life to the point where I want it to be again.

Bookgirl's Nightstand said...

I love "intentions" much more than goals or resolutions. For me those other two words some have a sense of failure attached to them if not completed.
I'm still working on my intentions!

Dark Orpheus said...

Nymeth I wish you the best for 2008. And happy holidays. :)


Iliana I agree about the "failure" aspects that has been over-emphasized. Sometimes things take time to come to fruition, and somethings take a whole life-time. As though "Winning" is the only reason to try anything.

Take your time with your intentions. We have our whole life to work towards things. :)