How to set an intention in yoga


A while ago, I wrote about what an intention in yoga means, and why it even matters.

But, this blog post is dedicated to those who want to set an intention….but are wondering: Where do I start?!

I have listed a few different ways that will assist in sifting through all the chatter inside your mind, and find what it is that you need during your yoga practice.

*Please note, that there are others ways as well and this is not the end all be all guide*

Setting an Intention based on your needs

 Before class starts or in your own home, just sit and breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and concentrate on just that – your breath.

Now think: Are you feeling anxious? Sad? Happy? Grateful? Stressed? Tired? Raw?

Pick an intention based on what you’re feeling. For example, if you’re feeling sad, maybe your intention will be happiness. If you’re feeling angry, your intention could be forgiveness. If you’re feeling anxious, your intention can be steadiness and calm and so on. Our minds are often stuck in certain negative patterns. Think of the positive thing that you need to help break that cycle.

The modern-day father of yoga Sri T. Krishnamacharya said,

Yoga is a process of replacing old patterns with new more appropriate patterns

Intentions in yoga help us do just that: break old thought habits, and build better ones!

Setting an Intention on Gratitude

Life is good for a lot of us. We are lucky to have so many resources at our disposal to help reduce stress. Many of us have friends, family, and pets we are grateful for. Life is good above ground. You can just set an intention on that simple, yet powerful word: gratitude. Gratitude for being able to walk into a yoga class. Gratitude for being able to drive, see, and hear. Gratitude for family, your teachers, career, home, and warm blankets.

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. – Brian Tracy

Setting an Intention on Offering


This one follows the idea of gratitude. You can set an intention to offer your practice to someone, thing or the Universe. It’s a really simple, but kind gesture that brings you all the good feels.

Other Ideas for Intentions

 Intentions aren’t defined. Intentions are poignant, but simple and are personal to whatever it is that you need at the moment.

A few other possible ideas.

  1. Relaxing your face muscles – Ok this might seem odd, but if you think about it, you probably clench your jaw, furrow your eyebrows a lot more than you think. While doing yoga, just think about relaxing your face muscles in each pose. (I got this idea from my friend Char – thanks!)
  2. Focus on your breathing – Notice its length. Even out your inhales and exhales. Just breathe.
  3. Practice non-judgement towards oneself and others.

I hope this post helps you stay present during your next yoga practice! Please do comment and share your thoughts on what intentions have worked for you!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and reading.



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