Written by Beth Tascione, Yoga & Reiki Bliss
Happy New Year!
The start of a new year always feels like a good time to make resolutions and set goals. It’s a fresh start, with 365 new days to shape our lives in a way that feels full, balanced, and meaningful. Yeah, let’s do it!!
But oftentimes, life gets in the way, and we fall back into our old habits and patterns, letting those resolutions and goals fade into the background.
One thing our yoga invites us to do is to set intentions for our practice – rather than goals or resolutions. These intentions can be very simple things, like staying aware of our breath as we move from pose to pose, or maintaining awareness of how the poses affect us, or even trying to move a little more slowly so we can be inside the practice rather than “putting on poses.” Unlike goals, intentions are not things to attain; they are simply tools that help shape our practice and how we approach it. They act like banks of a river containing and directing our energies in the right direction.
Intention setting also offers us ways to stay present . The nice thing is that when we forget, for example, to pay attention to the breath, we can begin again in the next moment with the next breath – no harm, no foul, no regrets, no guilt.
We can take this idea of setting intentions off the mat as well. Rather than set goals like, “I need to lose 10 pounds this year” or “I must stop biting my nails,” you might set an intention to eat more healthily and with awareness, to add in an exercise program, or to find tools to help you better manage stress. It’s a small shift in language and in perspective, but one that will help alleviate any sense of failure or guilt if we don’t reach that 10-pound goal or stop biting our nails completely, while still hopefully moving us in the direction we want to go.
Phillip Moffitt in The Heart’s Intention wrote, ”Setting intention, at least according to Buddhist teachings, is quite different than goal making. It is not oriented toward a future outcome. Instead, it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are “being” in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever present “now” in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values.”
When we can identify those values, we can more clearly make choices that allow us to live in alignment with them. It’s something we can integrate and practice every day, rather than something to attain and check off our list of things to do.
So, as we enter into 2024, consider this:
- What values do you hold dearly?
- How would you like your life and the way you are living it to unfold as it relates to those values?
- What would you like to be a part of your life this new year?
- What intention could you set for yourself that would honor the vision you have for yourself and your life?
You’ve got 365 days to explore and create a life that you love, that is full, and balanced, and meaningful!
Hi, I’m Beth. I’m a yoga teacher and a Reiki practitioner. I offer vinyasa flow & restorative yoga classes to help you rediscover your strength and joy of moving and reconnect with your inner quiet and ease. I also offer private Reiki sessions to support you in replenishing and rebalancing your energy and in finding the rest you need.
To learn more about Beth and her online yoga studio visit: www.thisisyourbliss.com