What does yoga mean to you? Is it a chance to discover yourself or a chance to recover yourself? When you go into a yoga practice, do you find it difficult to set an intention? Do you recall your intention and see it as a goal to leave the session having achieved or is it too hard to even come up with one?
Why set an intention for your practice anyway?
“Intentions help focus the mind, calm the body, link mind and body, and guide you through an empowered yoga practice.” The benefit of setting an intention makes your practice meaningful and beneficial and helps to get the most out of it. In teaching yoga I encourage clients to set an intention and suggest, even if one doesn’t come to mind, my intention is to allow the breath to be a focus.
When we focus on Yoga for discovery we use yoga as a means to explore who we are, why we are here, what this world is about and what is our purpose and meaning. My best class is when a yoga teacher shares some philosophy. I try to take one thing away from this teaching and implement it in my daily routine.
Yoga for Recovery
The word yoga means union. Its main purpose is to make the body function as a whole by moving and generating good energy within. Remember to view yoga not as a workout but as a work-in. It’s what you feel inside that really matters. Every class will serve as a means for recovery, even if you don’t commit to that as your intention. Restorative Yoga with a focus on a mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.
In conclusion, whether you practice yoga for discovery or recovery or both, set a clear intention to get the most out of your practice and know that just by showing up on the mat you are giving your body a chance to discover and recover. This is why yoga is one of the best forms of exercise you can offer yourself.