Set an intention for your practice.
It’s a phrase often heard at the start of a yoga class. And it might sound a little far out there or what does that even mean, basically, it’s deciding what you want to do in the next hour or so, what your purpose is. Or sometimes it’s what you want to focus on when your mind starts racing in a million different directions.
It’s the cousin to your daily to-do list. Maybe the slightly hippie cousin to your practical to-do list, but its purpose is still pretty much the same: to keep you focused on what you need to do.
When I set my intention for class, it’s usually the same thing: embrace what is.
Because it’s far too easy for me to start thinking about what I used to be able to do. How far from that I’ve fallen. What my body used to be and what it now is. And to berate myself for the changes and to want to be able to change back right now.
But there is no magic pill for that. And trying to force something when I can’t actually do it will only cause a whole lot of pain.
So, I embrace what is.
That this is the best I can do today and that there’s strength and beauty in that, in showing up and trying, in wanting to get better.
Embracing what is doesn’t mean that I don’t want to improve. But it does mean that I have to focus on what I can do, which will allow me to get better, instead of despairing of all I can’t.
Of course this goes well beyond my time spent on the yoga mat.
I might want to be able to cross 50 things off my to do list today, but if I can only get to 10, then I have to be okay with that, accept it, and continue working tomorrow.
I might want more work opportunities, but I can embrace what is by doing my absolute best with what I do have, and knowing more could be on their way.
Embracing what is helps me to realize things can change but they’ll probably change faster if I put more of my effort and energy into what I have now, instead of wasting energy wishing things could be different. It’s an action instead of wasted negative thoughts.