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Do You Know the Intention Behind Your Yoga Practice?

Yoga intentions

Are you thinking about starting yoga? If so, it’s important to know the intention behind your yoga practice. Knowing your long-term goals will allow you to get the most from your practice and achieve the result you’re working towards. If you’ve been practising yoga for a while, can you remember why you first put on your yoga pants? If not, reflect on this to revitalise your yoga spark.

Recognising Your Intention

If you’re new to yoga, just the idea of starting the exercise is an intention. However, it’s worth thinking about the reasons behind your practice before taking it any further.

People use the holistic therapy for many different reasons. For some, it’s at the advice of a mental health professional to reduce anxiety or depression. For others, it’s to find relief from chronic pain or discomfort. Some yogis are less concerned about their health, and more interested in the spiritual teachings of the practice. If you’re practising for this reason, your intention may be to improve your knowledge on the Sanskrit texts. Teaching us how to trust and let go, these texts can help to increase your general health and happiness. If you’re into sports, your intention may be to build your strength and endurance or to stretch out tight muscles after an intense sports session. Alternatively, your goal may simply be to feel good in yourself.

As you practice, your goal or intention may change with time. It’s important to remember that this is OK. Regular yoga practice brings with it a number of great benefits, including those you may not be aware of when you begin. With time, you’ll realise what you want to achieve in both the short and long-term.

Acknowledge the Philosophy

As the ongoing practice changes us, the teachings of yoga may become more apparent. You may find it easier to understand Sanskrit texts, especially if they’re presented in a way that connects with your practice. Acknowledging the teachings can wake us up to the ultimate goal of yoga, and understand why it was first invented. In many cases, listening to yoga philosophy causes practitioners to rethink their intentions.

Reflect When Off the Mat

As well as improving our practice, knowing our intention can help us off the mat, too. As yoga is all about noticing, feeling, and becoming present, we start to notice problem areas in our day to day life. For instance, if our intention is to reduce back pain, we become more aware of our posture when off the mat. Over time, we can take the necessary steps to fix these issues. Working towards a blissful existence, reflecting when off the mat can benefit our mental and physical health.

If you’re new to yoga, this process can seem daunting at first. However, it’s important to remember that everybody feels that way! If you’re feeling unsure, we recommend finding a good instructor to help you through the process. Additionally, it’s important to reflect regularly. Even if you know your long-term goal, take time to reflect on this each week. Consider what steps you’re taking to achieve it and whether you’re closer than you were the previous week. If you feel like you haven’t made progress, ask yourself why that is. If you’ve had a hectic week, that’s understandable. However, if you’ve just been lazy then try to put in more time next week.

Yoga intentions

Know How Often to Practice

When we know the intention behind our practice, we can decide how often to use yoga. If you are practising to improve your mental health, you may decide to meditate for a few minutes each morning. Practising daily can help you to maintain a healthy body and mind, even if you’re just practising for ten minutes. If you’re hoping to lose weight, it may be better to attend a vigorous class a few times a week, instead. Designed to burn maximum calories, vinyasa flow classes are ideal for those looking to shed a few pounds. Additionally, they are a great way to detox the body. Practised in a heated studio, toxins are released from the body as you sweat.

How Will it Change Us?

Now you know how to find your intention, you may be wondering how it will change you. Often, knowing your long-term goals will motivate you to practice. The more time, patience, and dedication you put into your yoga, the better results you’ll get at the end. If your intention is to tone up, regular practice will allow you to meet this goal. Over time, knowing your intention may also change other areas of your life; for instance, if your intention is to lose weight, you’ll keep this in mind when making dietary choices.

In Summary

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or you’re just getting started, knowing the intention behind your yoga practice can improve your craft. Once you understand your long-term goal, you take steps to achieve this. For some people, there is no one intention behind their practice. If you fall into this category, take time to decide which intentions are most important. Once these are clear in your mind, you can work towards them both on and off the yoga mat. If you’re a newbie, it’s best to attend a local class before practising independently. While home-practice is fine once you know what you’re doing, a few studio sessions will help you to master the basic poses. Not only will this allow you to get the best results from your practice, but it will also minimise muscle damage and injury.

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