Blog : Body-Informed Wisdom

Intention Setting is Your Power

Intention Setting is Your Power

Have you ever decided in the morning that you will stick to a goal, such as being patient with others, and find yourself lashing out at someone 4 hours later? Most of the time we set goals with the best of intentions, and end up getting lost in our conditioned patterns of behavior somewhere along the way. Setting your intention, or sankalpa, can be a beautiful way to start your day, create a mini-goal, or have a theme for your day. An intention, in yoga, is a phrase or word that gives you the opportunity to place your attention on something. During the middle and end of the yoga session, you might be encouraged to check in with that intention to re-center and remind yourself of the phrase or word you chose. This check-in is a beautiful way to get you back on track if you get lost in your thoughts or the ego gets involved during yoga.

intention setting

You might be wondering how to use this tool during your day.

Attach the intention setting to a task you complete every day already

For example, if you drink coffee or tea in the morning, this can be a moment for you to reflect.

Set your Sankalpa

Close your eyes or have a soft gaze toward the ground. Turn the awareness inward to assess what it is that you really need in that moment and throughout the day. Is it peace? Strength? Patience? Gratitude? Focus on the word (patience) or phrase (I am patient). Notice any emotions or sensations that come up for you.

Think about your why

Why is this intention important to you? How will those around you benefit? What will they see?

Middle of the day check-in

Without judgment, turn the awareness inward for a moment during a break and inquire how it has been going today. Did you veer from the path of your intention? It is great that you noticed this! Each moment is an opportunity to begin again. What is one way to get back on track with your intention?

*I recommend setting an alarm, calendar note, or reminder in your planner so that you don’t forget to check in*

Whether you are setting your intention for yoga practice or for daily life, enjoy the benefits of reflection and mindfully shifting your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors!

*Schedule a consultation with Kristie, who specializes in yoga-informed therapy, DBT, teaching mindfulness techniques, improving boundaries and codependency, beating burnout, and anxiety and depression relief. 

Kristie Powell is a therapist who specializes in yoga-informed therapy, DBT, and mindfulness. Since 2008, yoga and mindfulness have been her constant companions through life transitions, career changes, and motherhood. Through these practices, she was able to gain a deep understanding of herself and the world around her. She had more compassion, fun, and inner peace. One of the most beautiful aspects of life is that we create meaning in our lives; which puts us in the driver’s seat and in control of our happiness.

How Movement Benefits Your Mental Health

How Movement Benefits Your Mental Health

Have you ever noticed how you start to feel more depressed or anxious after you have been laying around all day? Sometimes, our bodies need to take time to rest and do nothing. However, there needs to be a balance. If you haven’t been active all day and your mind is idle, you may start to get restless, making it easier for you to ruminate or cling to negative thought patterns. Once you step outside and start moving, you’ll start to feel lighter with each step you take. Movement gets more oxygen flowing to the brain, giving you an enormous sense of well being. Here is how exercise benefits your mental health:

Movement  promotes the production of new brain cells

When you get your blood pumping with movement, it encourages oxygen to flow quickly and freely to the brain, which creates new brain cells. On top of that, exercise triggers the neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphins, which are responsible for those feelings of peace, happiness, and overall well being. When your body moves, so does your brain, which then boosts cognitive function and helps creative ideas flow.

It improves your meditation practice

When you are exercising, it’s difficult to think of anything but what you are doing at the moment. IYou are only concentrating on your body’s movements. Sometimes, our brains can become consumed with excess energy that turns into anxiety or depression. In meditation, we are also focusing on the body, noticing how our emotions impact our physical state. It’s important to make a point to shed this excessive energy with exercise, and focusing your attention on moving your body for just thirty minutes a day can help you feel calmer, more energized, clear, focused, and optimistic.

Movement reduces stress

When we exercise, our bodies release cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for stress and anxiety. Because movement emulates the impact stress has on our bodies, making our hearts race and our bodies sweat and shake, it allows us to practice working through the effects anxiety has on our body.

Movement calms the mind and body

After moving your body by doing yoga,running, fast walking, or playing your favorite sport, you will notice that your mind and body feel calmer and more relaxed. This is because you  were able to put your full attention on your body’s movements. You have no choice but to do this when you’re exercising, because you’re so focused on the sensations you’re experiencing in the body. Because you’re able to practice putting your focus and attention on one thing at a time, you can take that experience into your everyday life and learn to complete your tasks with a sense of calmness, clarity, and focus.

*Sign Up for our free 9 Essential Ingredients To Court Your Creativity PDF. Learn nine crucial skills you can implement RIGHT NOW to increase your creativity by stepping back into your right brain! Click here to sign up.

Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.