Setting (and Keeping) Intentions

I posted a few days ago about how I was working on doing more yoga during the week both for my body as well as my mind. There was also a neat article about veterans using yoga to help them recover from physical and mental injuries. 461eb2d5d0980deebb627cdbe2df6f76

One thing most yoga classes ask you to do at the beginning of a class is to “set an intention.” I was really confused by this. Um, I came to practice yoga. I intend to practice yoga and then afterwards maybe I’ll go home and walk my dog? I really didn’t “get” it.

And then there’d be yoga videos I would do, like “Yoga for Forgiveness” or “Healing Heart Yoga” and obviously there was something behind their face value. Gradually, I began to understand that your intention is something that you choose to focus on, whether it’s forgiveness, or truth, or openness. It’s different than a goal because it’s not something you check off saying Yep, did that and now on to something else, it’s something you want and focus on to continually improve.


My challenge this week was to look at myself and see if I’m being intentional with my workouts and also with my life. Heh. No, not entirely. Just this morning I was pushing myself through my workout. It was legs and shoulders today and I had a full schedule during the day so I made myself get up extra early to get my workout in and I resented myself for it.

I ran a slow warm-up and I really had to push myself during the rest of the workout. I kept just chiding myself and telling myself to just “do the work.” Which is good enough, but not good enough to exceed or get myself to where I want to be. So then I have to ask myself why do I bother going to the gym when I’d rather be sleeping? Why don’t I have ice cream after every dinner? It’s because I am working to make my outside match what I feel inside, but if I just let myself go through the motions then I’m limiting the potential for change.

I’m bad at setting intentions but good at setting goals, but I’m setting as my intention to check myself and make sure I’m not just going through the motions.



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