How to Energize Every Practice

Every yogi is familiar with the notion of intention. In the simplest definition, it's just your reason. Your purpose for coming to the mat, for doing what you're doing.

Intention grounds us in the real reason we are doing something. And your intention takes you where you want to go. 

I think there are three tricks to intention: it has to be truthful, it has to be loving, and you have to keep coming back to it A LOT. As much as you can remember. And then it is the fire that energizes you, strengthens you, warms you. 

Truth: You can't say you came to class to become more conscious if you really came to impress a cute boy. Your intention that you say to yourself must be the intention that you mean from your heart. Anything that brings you to your mat is a good thing. So it's just about being honest. If you frown upon your own intention, it's time to spend time with it. To ask yourself questions. 

Loving: The best intentions are those that are dedicated to love. We tend to love other people more than ourselves so it goes to follow that those practices dedicated to someone you love who is going through a hard time are very powerful. Or those practices dedicated to your community you feel strongly about, or your country, or a family member who is having a birthday. These intentions are beautiful. But it is important to feel that kind of love for yourself as well. If you find that your intentions are for other people most of time, perhaps it's time to work on self-love and to make a few intentions about you. You deserve it! You're fabulous!

Keep coming back: It's easy to get caught up in competition or thoughts or judgments about yourself when you have lost the real reason you are doing something. That's why it's more than necessary to come back to the intention. That's why I'm that annoying yoga teacher who tells you to come back to your intention over and over again. Let it steer you. 

This speaks for all aspects of life. The intention is centering. Without intention, we are flailing about without anything to hold onto. Whether business, home, friendships, creative works, family, yoga or even a meal. Why are you doing what you are doing? What is the real reason? Go back to that.