what is “setting your intention” in yoga, why it’s important, and how to do it

in a yoga class or in your pinterest-scrolling, you may have come across this common little phrase “set your intention”.

yoga teachers often bring this to attention at the beginning of the class, and ask you to refer back to it throughout the duration of the session.

but what exactly does it mean to “set your intention”, and why is it important? is it even important? how do you do it, anyway?

well aren’t you lucky, because that’s exactly what I’m talking about today 🙂

setting your intention in yoga

setting your intention is basically stating “this is what I need right now.” in your yoga practice or your life.

as a follower of Jesus, I use this time to seek Jesus’ face and ask for what I need and know that He alone can give me.
maybe you need peace on a particularly trying day, and you want to ask the Lord to pour peace into your heart during your practice. perhaps you are having a hard time controlling your anger, and you need to ask for patience and love to fill your heart towards that frustrating person. maybe you just want to know Him more and experience the fullness of who He is.

setting intentions is important, because a life lived without them and a practice created without them is full of doubt, confusion, and uncertainty. intentions remind you of who you are, who your God is, and what your purpose is.

whatever it is, your intention should be something that can be applied to your yoga practice, and carried over into your life that day.

here are a few simple steps to get to the place of setting your intention.

  1. roll out your mat & sit in easy pose or lotus.
    begin to breathe properly. where are you right now at this moment. what do you feel, bodily. are you tense or relaxed? sore or open? what about your emotions? what thoughts are you allowing to have free reign in your mind? what is it that is influencing you most? is that a good thing? pin-point that. in order to know what you need, you have to know where you’re at.
  2. ask yourself: “what do I need?”
    what is it that would most refresh your soul today? do you need joy? peace? a grateful heart? strength? patience? do you need to feel like today has purpose?
  3. bring it to the Lord.
    now that you know what you need, bring it before the Lord. empty yourself before Him, and ask Him to clear your mind of the things that don’t honor Him, and to help you take every thought captive. ask for clarity of mind and spirit.
  4. set your intention.
    be specific with God. tell Him, “I feel like I’m falling in my life right now, and I need to know Your power today.”
  5. keep your intention.
    begin your yoga practice, focusing purely on your intention. “My God is powerful. He has done mighty things for me. He is greater than my situation.” remind yourself of applicable scripture. apply it to your practice. Feel His strength empowering your spirit to live well and your body to practice well. if you feel your thoughts drifting, intentionally come back to your intention.


so, what is your intention today?

what is it that you need God to work for good in your life?

in what ways can you serve Him humbly through your practice?

live intentionally, friends ❤

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