Positive affirmations. Manifestations. Magic…
This blog is about working out what we truly want through the setting intents.
Setting an intent
“Sankalpa” is the yogic practice of tapping into our subconscious desires and consciously setting a positive intention to focus on during a yoga and/or meditation practice.
Traditionally this is a positive statement in the present tense, “I am…”, but you can choose any word, phrase or value that works for you.
Before you set your intent, breathe deeply into your heart and ask it what it wants. Something will come to mind and just go with it, however obscure it may seem, as the truth is never far from the surface.
I bloody love setting intentions and I will tell you why.
Focus the mind, still the body
In a yoga class, I find my mind will wander given the slightest opportunity. My brain fills with all the things I have to do, want to do, won’t be able to do, random stuff from the past, worries about the future, what stupid things I said in class in 1987, ad infinitum…
Setting an intention gives me one thing to think about and, even if I slip up from time to time, it is easier to get my focus back if I have just one concrete idea to draw my mind to.
The mind/body connection
The word Yoga means “union” and acknowledges what modern day medicine struggles to accept, that our mind and bodies are inextricably linked.
When we set an intent and infuse it into our yoga practice and meditation, you are much more likely to believe it.
For example, if we feel alone and unhappy then our deepest desire may be to feel loved. Our intent may be “I am loved” or “I am content”. Saying this to yourself on a loop is likely to feel meaningless but what if we allow ourselves to feel this love with every cell of our bodies while we move between poses?
The intent starts in the mind but when it reaches the heart this is where the magic happens. We feel loved in our body and it flows right on back up to our minds.
And that is the key. You move with it, you breathe it and then you become it.
Our brains are plastic, we have the power to rewire our neurological pathways and change how we respond to situations.
What do YOU want?
Often we don’t really know what we want. We don’t examine the root of our pain and we close up rather than face our struggles. Tapping into our subconscious desires opens the door and allows us to face up to our truth.
Coming back to you.
What do you want to bring into your life? What do you want more of?
This question was posed by one of my teacher’s recently and it struck a chord in my heart.
Immediately I thought “Freedom”. I want the freedom to do what I love and, acknowledging this has cemented what I already know to be true. I want to continue my yoga journey and experience adventure. It may require patience on my part but this is the underlying value that should underpin all my decisions going forward.
I often come back to this intent now in my own yoga practice and it is going to be the class intent for this last week of Summer term. We will be practicing a sequence to liberate the body focusing on the hips and the spine.
And when the body is liberated, the mind is set free.
Yoga magic, I just love it!