What is an intention? As we end the holidays, New Year resolutions and goal setting seem to be on everyone's mind. An intention (sankalpa) is a resolve you set at the beginning of your PRACTICE. My teacher always has started her class by setting an intention for our time on the mat and I also continue that in my teaching.
But what is this intention we set every time we step onto our mat (or dare I take this further and say every time we PRACTICE being present in our lives). An intention is like a goal but in my PRACTICE it is more about a feeling rather than an object or external thing. For example- if our new years goal is to go to have more energy or eat better, what is the feeling behind that? More time to do the things that make us happy, like really happy, not just the kind that is immediate than we feel guilty after? More time to feel good about ourselves? Than we need to look at why this isn't happening in our present moment. Do we stay up too late, do we eat food that depletes us, do we spend time on energy/time suckers like social media (not that is a bad thing, but does it inspire you? Lift you up?). After we look at why we behave the way we do or why we are stuck in our own ruts, we need to look at what we can do to change this. What makes you feel happy or good? How can you create those feelings even just once a day. Can you be present in that moment and feel that sensation. What are the obstacles we may face and how can we move past those obstacles? Best tip I ever got was to write down my answers in a book and read it every morning or evening and write about what it felt like, the obstacles you face daily and how you may be able to change them.
From there we PRACTICE compassion and kindness because habitats are hard to break and instead of feeling guilty or feeling like a failure we treat ourselves like we would a friend and remember not to give up and keep trying. In the beginning creating new habits is hard but after we PRACTICE it gets easier and easier.
How will you PRACTICE feeling your intention moving forward?