As I continue to teach and explore classes in a more thematic way this year, I will share my thoughts here occasionally. We have spent several weeks exploring the feeling of purpose and longing in life. We will now begin to dive into the experience of intention. You can think of intentions as more short term, whereas heartfelt direction, longing or purpose is an overarching theme that spans a lifetime.
Intentions can be affirmed for a single practice, or they can span the duration of a day, a week, a month. Intentions help us to recognize why we are choosing to practice. On any given day it might be to return to the feeling of Being with life, rather than constantly planning and doing life. Intention can also be to return home to our true self, perhaps to remember the clarity of presence, or to take time to meet an emotion or a memory that has been arising. When recognized and felt at the beginning of a practice, intention becomes an internal compass that reminds us to pay attention to the moment that is unfolding. This said, sometimes intention is less cognitive, and rests as a feeling sense. You are here practicing without interpreting why and that is perfectly fine.
Over the course of the next few classes, we will also inspire a fresh commitment to practice itself. By practice, I am referring to anything that allows you to feel at ease and grounded in yourself. This might be meditation for some. It can include yoga asana, walks, painting, tai chi, cooking, or whatever this means for you. A beautiful way to uncover fresh motivation for practice is by taking time to appreciate and embody the gifts you have already received from them. Then as we venture into our day, and we veer away from ourselves and our practices, the motivation and commitment we have come to know in our bodies will eventually bring us back. Perhaps after days, weeks or months of falling away from practice, you might feel like something is missing and slowly make your return.
A fresh commitment to practice is also skillfully paired with a commitment to minimizing the things that pull us apart from ourselves. You can make a commitment to do less of something. For me, this has meant less time on my phone, eliminating social media for now, and taking in news by choice rather than being inundated by sources that are not serving me.
In the following weeks, we will also explore bringing alive the intention for joy. The world is full, and life has its ups and downs. It is important to recognize what brings us moments of lightness, and true and wholesome joy. By wholesome I mean a joy that is not harmful to other sentient beings. Joy can arise both as a result of something, and also as byproduct of simply Being with life exactly as it is. Taking time for these kind of reflections can help us to make room for Joy, both caused and uncaused. I am not implying that we should only experience joy. Instead, making room for lightness in life helps us to feel resilient during moments that are difficult and outside of our control.
While I will be leading classes with a progressive theme, they will be offered in a way that is completely accessible for beginners or the occasional drop in. The Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes at noon at Yoga Yoga North include time for check-in, breathing exercises, a few minutes of light movement that would be fine to do even in work clothes. I will lead you through a 25-30 minute guided iRest yoga nidra meditation, often followed by inquiry as appropriate. I would love to hear from you if you have feedback or comments. Feel free to comment here or to send me a private message through the home page.