Hello Everyone and Happy Monday!
I am so happy to see you all here and still journeying along with me. This is my third time posting and soon it will be a whole month! Whew! Time really does move fast. With that said, this week I had to do some soul searching and really reflect. On a positive note I was way more active and started to feel better. Monday I went on a walk, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I did a 10 minute yoga flow and it felt really good. However last night as I was preparing and thinking about what I will write about for today’s post, I realized I was kind of doing it all wrong.
What’s the Problem?
I mean, I wasn’t doing it all wrong, not the physical stuff at least, but I started this blog to fall in love with myself. Right? I wrote just a couple weeks ago, how deeply I wanted to feel strong and connected to my body. I wanted to experience balance and peace, but what I realized is this week I didn’t practice like that was true.
In yoga, often times before but sometimes during and after a yoga practice you set an intention, or a Sankalpa in Sanskrit. I am sure most of us have heard of positive thinking or training our minds, and a Sankalpa is basically the yogic manifestation of that. When you set an intention, you are reminding you mind, body, and spirit the reason why. Why am I here? Why am I doing this? It becomes a personal guide or even a strong as a vow to oneself to achieve or work towards our intention. But I wasn’t doing that. I treated yoga, just as I said I wouldn’t. I treated it as only a workout. I forgot so quickly my reason why. I remembered how fit and muscular I was when I was at my yogic peak. I remembered all the cool things I could do and all the cool pictures/poses I could post on Instagram just to prove how “yogic” I really was. Once I touched my mat and remembered these things, my intentions were transmuted into something else completely. I forgot about wanting to love myself and found myself consumed with vanity and only thinking about how much others will love me once I was fitter, cooler, more impressive. Which totally explained why when I was done, I didn’t feel anything but exhaustion.
How Do Intentions Impact Us?
Which, don’t get me wrong, exhaustion can be very rewarding. It just isn’t the reward I need to focus on right now. When I looked in the mirror with exhaustion spewing out of every crevice of my body, I didn’t see any difference. Of course not! How could I? It was only three 10 minute practices! But because I was so fixated on my looks and my fancy shmancy poses and what I use to do when my practice was over it was all I could think about, care about, and ultimately be a little disappointed about. I mean, this week I wanted to post progress pictures (well… more like baseline pictures). Unfortunately, because I was so displeased with my lack of muscles and smoothness, I didn’t do it! So how do intentions impact us? Well, if they are the reason why you do something, intentions become the thing you are focused on the most. Even in some cases they can be borderline an obsession.
If you intentions are not generative and do not breath life into you, they can harm your mental and even physical well-being. While in my case it was really obvious why focuses on changing my looks can be very harmful, it applies in other scenarios also. If you are an artist and every time you make your art you tell yourself its to sell it (via streams, patreon, or Esty) when those sales don’t come through you can feel like your worthless or no one values you. This isn’t to minimize really real needs to be able to survive off your artistry, but it is to bring intention to how our intentions can affect our mental and physical health. Instead if you are an artist and intention is to love your art as you would a pet or a child, then when the sales don’t come through it no longer become a measurement of its value but rather outside factors. Sure it won’t change the reality that you didn’t make a sale, but it will give you the mental clarity and emotional strength to acknowledge and accept it is not because you don’t have worth, its because, quite frankly capitalism sucks. What would happen if we set an intention to laugh three times before we left the job we hate? It could help, even if its just a second, take attention away from that job and to a small moment you were lucky enough to experience.
So Now What?
Sure intentions aren’t necessarily a solution to all our problem. But they are opportunities to construct and reconstruct the things we chose to give energy to. I cannot continue to give energy to thinking that a body that wakes me up every morning, sleeps with me at night, and allows me to experience life needs to change. My body is perfect. All bodies are perfect. Perfection is achievable once we decide to love our bodies fully and care for our bodies deeply. So this week will look different. I will say my intention out loud before every practice. I will post my baseline photos. I will love my body that has allowed me to experience this world in every stage of its existence. It gives me the gift of life, so I aim to spend every breath giving it the gift of gratitude.
Now, as promised here are the videos I used last week, and I just repeated the same video three times because it was really familiar to me. It is a fast passed flow, so if you are not comfortable with moving in and out of poses fast or would like more instruction, I will drop a back video too!
Yoga with Adrienne Hips and Core
Yoga with Adrienne 20 Min Beginners Workout
Quick statement: I don’t actually believe in beginner bodies and advanced bodies. I think all bodies are completely complex, unique and personal. What may be easy for some, may be impossible for others, but terms like beginners and advanced for me creates a false hierarchy that can cause some self-consciousness and even ego. I will talk more about this later, but I wanted to state it here because a lot of people use this language!
Also yoga or no yoga, if you are interested in practicing setting generative intentions here is a list you can start from and a song you can play to help!
10 Powerful Mantras to Set Intentions for a Yoga Practice
Beautiful Chorus – I Am Enough
Well I know it was really short this week, but thank you so much for reading and sticking with me!
Talk to you soon!