Living with Intention

Yoga is in the top 10 complementary and alternative approaches for therapy used by adults. It has been shown to reduce stress, depression and anxiety and has been proven to improve physical fitness, strength and flexibility. As Inger Burnett-Zeigler in the video below states; 21 million people in 2012 said that they used yoga for health reasons in the past year. One in five of us have an anxiety disorder, 60% are more likely to be women. These stats show the importance for complementary and alternative approaches to wellness such as yoga and how much they can make an impact on those suffering. Read on for these Lessons from Yoga on Living with Intention by Inger Burnett-Zeigler.

Inger starts out by explaining that your life has these ‘timed milestones’ right from the day you are born. These are cultural norms and values such as when you should go to school, drive a car, get married and buy your first house. Our society is driven by achievement and productivity which causes you to constantly seek more and feel like you are never achieving enough; always on the lookout for the next best thing. Inger explains that we should always go back to one question; “What is my true intention?”.

When you get on to your mat for a yoga session you’re instantly practising self-awareness. Often the yoga teacher begins by instructing you to ground yourself, become aware of your body and breath and to set an intention for the session. This instruction can be taken off the mat into everyday life by beginning your day in the same way; allowing yourself to just be…

Throughout the practice you may battle with postures you cannot do yet, yoga teaches you to breathe through the challenges and remind yourself of your intention when things get tough. If you take anything from this video let it be this; clinging to the storybook life that you thought you would have and judging yourself for failing to meet your unrealistic expectations in life will not serve you. ‘There are many roads to a singular destination and sometimes an unpredictable road can take you to a beautiful place that you never knew existed’.

Here are the lessons yoga has taught her: 

  1. Be in the moment and accept things as they are, not as they were and wished them to be.
  2. Embrace stillness and the opportunity to check in with yourself.
  3. Breathe – your breath is your light source and your anchor.
  4. Observe your breath – slow down in moments of struggle.
  5. Self-awareness – observe your body, mind and emotions.
  6. Bring awareness of how you react in the face of challenge – be less reactive, more responsive.
  7. Be patient.
  8. Let go of rigid expectation.
  9. Let go of things that no longer serve you.
  10. Learn to adjust.
  11. Be less resistant and more tolerant of unexpected life events and challenges.
  12. Have trust in yourself – confidence in being able to listen to your own intuition.

Start each day by setting yourself an intention; set it free and wait openly for it to come back to you. Let go of expectation and allow yourself to just be and accept yourself as you are. Getting into mindfulness and yoga? Let us know your questions and comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Check out these yoga and mindfulness articles, to help you get Fit for life!) 

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