It’s a new day. A new month. A new year. Hello 2019!

For many of us it’s the time of year when we set our goals for the year ahead…start a fitness regime, take up yoga, go on a diet, learn to meditate…the list goes on.

But here’s a not so surprising statistic: only 8% of people who set a New Year’s resolution successfully achieve them. It’s not always easy to make changes in our lives, but an effective way of doing this is through setting an intention and integrating it with a regular practice of the mindful Yoga Nidra meditation (sleep based meditation).

What is an intention?

An intention helps us become the best version of ourselves by withdrawing our attention from where we don’t want to go to a place we do want it to go.

How is a goal different to an intention?

A goal has a specific endpoint in mind, whereas an intention is the direction we are seeking to take. An intention is more realistic and adaptable, especially if we consciously or subconsciously take another route along the way. If we consider a goal, this would be considered a failure and we’re likely to abandon that goal as we beat ourselves up about the speed bump we are likely to encounter.

Qualities of an intention

Intentions have several characteristics that differentiate them from goals:

  • define in the present tense
  • timeless
  • direction not a destination
  • no attachment to the outcome
  • concise and powerful
  • no predictable end results

Why should you set an intention?

You can set an intention at anytime…not just at the new year. Intentions are widely recognised for giving us purpose and connecting us to a higher power with ourselves in a direction we’re seeking to journey. They are also set in the present tense so they help us to always be present and set a guiding principle within our psyche.

How to set an intention

  1. Find a place within your house or out in nature (the bush, the beach, the forest) where you can sit, be still and contemplate
  2. Sit in a comfortable seated position and connect with your breath to help you become present
    • cultivate slow and steady inhalations and exhalations through your nose
    • once you are feeling present and connected, observe where you’re tense in your body and take a deep belly breath in and mindfully exhale out through your mouth. Repeat this a couple of times if you have a lot of tension to release – let your body be your guide
  3. Contemplate the following questions:
    • What brings you the greatest joy in your life?
    • What fuels your fire?
    • What gives you a deep sense of purpose?
  4. Listen to your inner voice and ask yourself what are your motivations and aspirations for 2019?
    • Observe the responses that arise – sitting with each one and allowing them to wash over you
    • Be clear about what you invite into your life
  5. Create a short mantra (statement) that captures your intention and start to incorporate it in your daily yoga, meditation or mindfulness practice.

Some intention examples:

  • I allow myself to …
  • I am…
  • I am here because…
  • I am a … presence

Integrating your intention into a Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra allows you to let go and be free and can have a profound impact on your body and mind. An ancient 6000 year old Indian practice, Yoga Nidra is sleep based meditation that allows you to deeply relax and be at one with yourself…and to be still whilst still aware and alert. It is a meditation practice accessible to everyone; shifting you from the yang of thinking and doing (masculine) to the feeling and doing yin (feminine) which can help lead your body to restoration and the release of excess tension in your body and mind.

As a mindful and deeply relaxing and contemplative silent practice, Yoga Nidra can help direct your mind to fulfil the seed of an intention you set for yourself.

Want to delve deeper and learn more?

Join me on Saturday 2 February 3-5:30pm at Westside Yoga School in Seddon for my New Year, New You Healing Immersion and delve deep within to release long held emotions and past experiences, anxiety and stress.

In this 2.5 hour immersion I’ll be integration a combination of into the practices body psychology and yoga therapy techniques, sound healing and yoga nidra meditation. You’ll journey deep within the body-mind complex to discover how to release long held tensions, attachments and constrictions, which can manifest as anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD and stress.

To find out more about intention setting, please email me at hello@mayyoga.com.au. If you would like to attend my workshop, please register via the Westside Yoga website. Spots are limited, bookings are essential.