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Guiding Intentions to Help Keep You on the Path by Sean Conley

Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM


an aim that guides action
purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct
a determination to act in a certain way

What is Your Intention?

What are you hoping to create? What are looking to get rid of? Why do you practice Yoga? Yoga is a unique experience for everyone. Each one of us can find something in it that will resonate with our hearts and minds. Each time you come onto your yoga mat you can have a completely different experience than the last time. Whatever is happening currently in your life can come up. If you’re holding onto anger, resentment, fear, anxiety. Yoga gives you the opportunity to let go of all this! This practice is profound, it is powerful, and it can be life changing. For yoga to work, bring an open mind to your mat each time. Breath, breathe, breath. Life is a journey not a destination. Let’s enjoy the ride.

Setting an intention is not focused on a future outcome. Intention is “your reason” why you practice yoga. It allows one think about what they are looking to create on their mat. Intention is a practice or path that is completely focused on how you are “being” in the present moment. While experiences the ever changing flow of life, your attention is solely on the always present “now”. You choose an intention based on what matters most to you. You follow up intention with focus and most importantly, commitment. A commitment to match your actions with your inner wisdom and spirit.

You will begin to notice how in yoga as class goes on you will experience a release. Remember that feeling. What might seem like problems may actually be invitations for change. Yoga is simply a state of mind. Our hope is that we maintain the yoga throughout our everyday living. The poses and movements in yoga mimic life. The poses and movemnets are opportunities or experiences for us to practice living. You attempt to maintain clamness and focus throughout. By not reacting to the challenging moments you lessen the power of your weaknesses. This allows you to strengthen yourself physcially, emotionally, and spiritually.

By setting an intention to your practice it will put your positive thoughts into action. These actions and intentions result in phenomenal power! We practice focusing which allows us to be present. We practice breathing which makes us calm. And letting our inetntion guide us is why we practice yoga.

When we set an intention we are practicing living in the present moment. This is quite different than setting goals which is more focused on future outcome. ie. job promotion, finding a spouse, etc. This makes yoga and intentions special. Look at setting an intention as something you “practice”. It’s a journey, not a destination. Yoga is a place to be, not a place to get. We are fully aware of every moment. Your intention is what is of deep importance to you and you follow through with the highest level of committment. You match what you know to be true with your actions in life.

Yoga does not have an On/Off button. You can not just turn it on and become instantly forgiving. These inetntions stay with you daily. But being aware of what you need to work on is the first cruscial step.

By contastntly remaining focused on your true intentions, it will allow you to livea fuller, freer life! One that is not attached to wanting, achievemnets, doubts, and insecurities.
This will enable you to live a life in harmony and balance. One that is focused on making other people happy instead of oursleves. The greatest gift is giving: our love, our time, and a part of ourselves.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

Of course life will present us with its ups and downs. But by staying grounded with your intentions you will be able to move with flow. This commitment to being who you are and being comfortable in your own skin keeps you from the obsession of wanting and achieving. This will not keep you immune to pain and fear but you will have a way of staying strong through it all. It will keep you in command of your happiness and being joyful regardless of the external events.

Positive intentions lead to positive results. Negative intentions lead to negative results. Positive and negative intentions lead to positive and negative results.

Try to not judge yourself as you work through the process. Stay focused on being present. Awareness is the first step toward moving to positive results.

For example, if you go to yoga and you are already consumed with thoughts of vanity i.e.. , I wish my ass was smaller, I wish I had more money, I wish I was flexible like her… If you focus on these things in yoga you will end up with “negative results”. You will end up being more obsessed with these things and remain in your day to day thinking.

If you to go yoga and your already consumed with thoughts of vanity but you focus your intention on positive thoughts i.e Not wanting and Gratitude you will begin to free yourself of these self limiting thoughts. By staying grounded in intention we now have control in how we react to events and circumstances in life. This is mindfulness.

How do we know if our intentions are coming from the right place? Do the right thing without fear of failure.

We must move from what is called “the heart center”. This is our inner wisdom or our awakened inner mind-heart that we must rely on
By living a life filled with intention you stay anchored to loving and giving to others. It gives you the strength to resist falling for ego, vanity, and materialism. By practicing and practicing these intentions will eventually become your way of life. By giving it attention it will thrive and grow! Yoga is confrontational we must commit and work on what we know we need to work on.

Keep trying to connecting with this inner wisdom that we possess. Let go of the thought that it will be easy. You may fall off the path, just get back on. By continually coming back to your intention you move towards freedom and your own true self. Keep coming back to your heart center.

If you are struggling on this pose, you know why you’re in yoga. If you are’s ok. You can work out giving up the struggle. We go to yoga to work on the things we need to work on. Like being more gentle, being more patient, being more forgiving. We do the work on ourselves so we can give it to others. We got so exited about going to a yoga class. then we find ourselves in a challenging pose and we start questioning ourselves. yoga imitates life. sometimes hard, sometimes it’s rosy. Breathe!

“all star yoga words” to infuse with your Intentions:

and LOVE

think of these words while in a difficult moment holding a yoga pose

Yoga helps us find focus and clarity on the mat which can be carried off the mat. What we do on the mat is a direct reflection of how we live and approach life!


Learn more about Sean Conley, his wife Karen Conley & Amazing Yoga studios & teacher trainings at