• Grace White

What’s so great about setting intentions?

The very first yoga class I took was much more like a keep-fit class than anything spiritual. I wonder what I would have done if I had been invited to set an intention for my practice that evening.

If I recall what I’d been going through back then in my late twenties, I probably would have been challenged by having to just choose one thing, panicking about getting it wrong. I would have rummaged around in my head – in the manner of someone ransacking an overflowing sock drawer – and I would have been baffled if the teacher had said, ‘connect with that place at the centre of your heart and feel what your soul is asking for.’

I’ve come to see that setting intentions is like any other aspect of yoga – a practice. Each day is different, and each day grows my ability to live my life with meaning and walk the path I deserve.

If I come to my mat, frazzled by the day, or I wake early to practice and find that I am still half asleep, then setting an intention helps draw me to the present as I remind myself that this moment can be what I choose. In my work as a Life Coach, I’m dealing every day with clients who are striving to unravel the habits of settling for what they’ve got and reach for higher peaks. Intentions are a lovely way to begin this work.

They are a little like magic, but not in the way you might expect. Let’s say you’ve had a day straight from hell. You come to class with a sense of overwhelm, stress, even anger. Setting an intention to find peace amidst the turmoil, is like casting a spell. Though the frog may not turn into a prince straight away! The true magic lies in the lesson of becoming aware of the levels of your needs, your expectations and how quick you are to find disappointment when you don’t receive what you want.

Setting intentions will teach you to create enough space within so that you are able to feel what will serve you at key moments. It will also develop a mindset that says, ‘I believe in my worth to receive the gifts that life has to offer’.

Reaching the highest peak in life is a hero’s undertaking. First, you need to climb like a hero. Setting intentions are beautiful, little messages to the brain that say, ‘I believe in myself, I am that hero,’ and the work of honouring that belief and your soul’s true potential begins.


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