Ever wondered how to set up intentions and why it’s done daily?
Short answer: It helps set up your day, week, month, or year the way YOU want it!
A more in-depth explanation below the video.
“Let’s start today’s class by setting an intention.”
Have you heard yoga teachers start a class this way? For a long time, hearing this made me roll my eyes. Why, you ask? In retrospect, I didn’t get it. I didn’t know how to set an intention let alone what a good one would be, so why waste time with this–I just wanted to get moving.
It took me a lot of trial and error to ‘get it’ and after a long time of feeling like it had to be this complex thing, the realization came that it can be quite simple.
What is an intention?
An intention is a quality in which you want to create in your life — both on and off the mat. An intention can be a step toward a larger goal. Any intention that you choose should be something that’s really true to you – not just something you think you should do. Let it be some quality or goal youwant.
🌟A note on this: Do your best to set up your intention to support you positively. i.e. “I flow easily with new experiences” instead of “I won’t be so awkward in new situations”.
Why set one?
Setting an intention goes beyond the physical practice and brings more awareness to our spiritual selves. It provides the opportunity to bring another level of mental energy to change our mindset. Even if you only do it for the duration of a meditation or an asana practice, that energy and thought process carries on after you’re finished.
The best part is you can set one at any time! You don’t need to wait for New Year’s or another special occasion. Start now!
The hard part is figuring out what you want. This decision can be a short term one, like setting your energy & emotions up to perform well in a presentation or it could be long term like a major goal you want to reach in a year.
Once you decide on a goal, then there’s a few questions to ask yourself to aide in visualizing and bringing the intention to life:
What kind of energy do you want to have today?
How do you want to show up emotionally?
What does this feel like? What does it look like and sound like?
How do you talk to yourself? How do you talk and interact with others?
Set up a period of time to quietly visualize yourself going through your day with this intention. You can do this with me for 5 minutes in the video 👆. To reiterate: visualization plays a big roll in all this intention setting.
Now here’s the REALLY important thing: You need to do it consistently. Every morning. 5 minutes is all you need but you can go longer!
Why do it daily?
It builds momentum! Envisioning it before it happens is key for the end result to come to fruition.
✨Believe it to see it.✨
There will be days you won’t wanna. There will be days you think you don’t have time. Do it anyway. Do yourself the favor and show up for yourself — Do it for you.
I hope this process helps you become a better version of yourself.
Enjoy! Be well.
Remember to breathe.
🙏🏼Namaste my friends🙏🏼
Below are some excerpts of the studies and articles I found on this subject. I’m not gonna lie, it’s interesting but VERY dry reading. Citations are at the bottom along with a list for further reading.
IOP & Meditation
IOP = Intraocular Pressure = measurement of the fluid pressure inside the eye.
It (Meditation) has multiple potential benefits for normal-pressure and high-pressure glaucoma patients including a reduction in intraocular pressure, increasing cerebral blood flow and oxygenation, and decreasing action of the sympathetic nervous system with a corresponding increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity.
Meditation leads to a “relaxation response” mediated by nitric oxide with decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, increase in neurotrophins and mitochondrial energy production, and improves the overall quality of life of glaucoma patients. 1
IOP & Pranayama and Diaphragmatic Breathing Study
Yogic pranayama and diaphragmatic breathing are potential adjunctive therapies for patients with glaucoma; however, they are not substitutes for medicine or eye drops.
Currently, medical or surgical lowering of intraocular pressure is the only therapeutic approach for treating primary open-angle glaucoma. Intraocular pressure maintenance is influenced by autonomic activity (sympathetic and parasympathetic). “Yogic pranayama” and “diaphragmatic breathing” are exercises that can affect autonomic activity by stimulating a wakeful hypometabolic state of parasympathetic dominance. We aimed to assess the effect of yogic pranayama and diaphragmatic breathing on intraocular pressure to determine whether it can be recommended for individuals with established glaucoma in combination with glaucoma medication as an adjuvant therapy.
Compared with the wait-list group, the yogic pranayama and diaphragmatic breathing exercise group had significantly lowered intraocular pressure (right eye: 20.85±3.39 to 14.90±2.86 mm Hg; left eye: 20.30±4.12 to 14.25±3.85 mm Hg; P<0.001).
Yogic pranayama and diaphragmatic breathing exercises can reduce intraocular pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma and can therefore be recommended as an adjuvant therapy.3
IOP in regard to Downward Facing Dog, Uttanasana, + More…
In previous research, studies and case reports had tested only the headstand position, which showed a marked two-fold rise in IOP. In the new study, researchers had healthy participants with no eye-related disease and glaucoma patients perform a series of inverted yoga positions, including downward facing dog, standing forward bend, plow, and legs up the wall. They captured the IOP in each group at baseline seated, immediately assuming the pose, two minutes while holding the pose, right after they performed each pose in the seated position, and then again 10 minutes after resting in the seated position.
Both normal and glaucoma study participants showed a rise in IOP in all four yoga positions, with the greatest increase of pressure occurring during downward facing dog. When the measurements were taken after the participants returned to a seated position and again after waiting ten minutes, the pressure in most cases remained slightly elevated from the baseline.
“While our study results don’t show a dramatic difference in IOP between the normal participants and those with glaucoma, we believe that additional research, with a larger study population and longer durations of practicing the inverted positions is warranted,” said first author Jessica Jasien, M.En., research associate with the Shelley and Steven Einhorn Clinical Research Center at NYEE.2
1 Dada, Tanuj, et al. “Meditation: A Polypill for Comprehensive Management of… : Journal of Glaucoma.” LWW, Journal of Glaucoma, Feb. 2020, journals.lww.com/glaucomajournal/Abstract/2020/02000/Meditation__A_Polypill_for_Comprehensive.11.aspx.