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Yoga in the Morning to Set Intentions

This class is another installment of morning yoga! Practicing yoga in the morning can be a wonderful way to set intentions for the day, but whether you hit the mat or not, setting daily intentions is a powerful way to live life more mindfully and purposefully.

Why Set Intentions?

It is my belief that living mindfully is the key to a happy, fulfilled life. What do I mean by living mindfully? Living with awareness. Being purposeful with our words and actions.

It’s being intentional with the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take.

Have you ever said something you didn’t mean? Or opened a bag of chips and all of a sudden they were all gone? Those were words said mindlessly; chips eaten mindlessly.

When we speak mindfully, we don’t speak words we don’t mean because we are speaking with intention. When we eat mindfully, we savor every bite, noticing the smell, taste, and texture of our food.

Living mindfully has everything to do with intention — it’s living in line with intention.

If my intention for a Sunday afternoon is to get centered and plan for the week ahead, then binge-watching The Good Place is not in alignment.

If, however, my intention is to decompress from a busy week with some mindless entertainment, then right on, binge-watch I shall because my attention aligns with my intention.

Does that make sense? Aligning our attention with our intention is the key, and in order to do that, we have to set intentions to begin with.

A Daily Intentions Practice

I love to set intentions all the damn time. At the end of the year I’ll set my intentions for the coming year. During seasonal shifts like the upcoming winter solstice, I’ll set my intentions for the months ahead. And at the new moon, I set intentions for the weeks to follow, until the next new moon.

Setting intentions periodically this way keeps me checking in. Am I living in line with my values and goals?

I also like to set daily intentions for day-to-day mindfulness. Sometimes I’ll have the same intention every day for weeks; sometimes it changes every day.

Daily intentions allow me to meet myself where I am, and to live each day with more purpose, rather than on autopilot.

Image of warrior 2 yoga pose with text overlay: Morning Yoga - Intention-Setting Practice to Start Your Day

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Yoga in the Morning for Intention Setting

Getting on your mat first thing in the morning is a great way to set your intention for the day. I like to sit for a few moments with my eyes closed, focus on my breath, and say my intention either silently or out loud a few times.

Then I move on my mat a little bit, for as long as time allows — sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s five minutes. As I move and breathe, I keep my intention in my mind. Allowing myself to move in a way that aligns with my intention.

If my intention for the day is gratitude, I remember to be grateful for every movement, every sensation, every breath. If my intention is patience, I take my time with the poses, staying in them for a breath longer than my mind tells me to.

If you want to give this a try, I invite you to choose an intention for your day and then move with me in the yoga practice below.

If no intention comes to mind, think about how you would like your day to unfold and what kind of energy you would like to bring to your day. Create your intention out of the words or feelings that arise.

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