5 Seconds Before Yoga


We sometimes find our yoga practice, or meditation practice to be stagnating a bit.  It could be that we just feel like we’re going through the motions, and that freshness has dissipated.  The question may arise, “why am I even doing this?”  Well, exactly!  Why are you doing this?  It’s often important to state our intentions before engaging in a practice in the first place.  Take 5 seconds before yoga, meditation, or really any practice, and state your intention for that session.

Our minds are ever-churning, and usually when we do yoga, meditation, and especially if we have been at it for a while, then the practices go on autopilot.  Then we are really in our minds, rather than in the present awareness of the practice itself.  Saying our intention out loud creates a way to circumvent away from the chatter of thoughts back to the center focus.  Also, of course, an intention is a conscious invocation of energies towards a purpose as well.

There’s a lot of positive psychology behind this.  In fact, you will read in many self-help books that the first thing we should do upon waking up is stating our intentions for the day.  Here are some general guidelines for stating intentions:

  1. Start with gratitude
  2. Affirm only what you want, and is believable
  3. Consider it as if it is happening now (not a future projection)
  4. Feel it, focus on the feelings – this is where the energies lie
  5. Avoid negative self-thoughts, and negative language like “can’t” and “not”
  6. Replace tentative words with affirmative words: “do” instead of “try”, avoid “but”
  7. Ensure integrity – the well-being of everyone involved must be the priority

So the next time you begin your yoga practice or sit for meditation, take 5 seconds and state your overall intention for the practice, your specific intention for this particular session, and weave in your True Self, that sense of pure awareness, into your practice.  The five aspects of awareness are to feel oneself as spacious, timeless, perfect, complete, whole.  In this way, you are really laying in a nurturing groundwork upon which your practice can truly flower.

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