The Art of Intention

The Art of Intention

Depending on the type of yoga (and yoga instructor), you may be asked to silently “set an intention” at the beginning of class.

And yet, from personal experience, rarely does the instructor explain what an intention is. So whether you are a beginner or have been practicing for years, Yoga Simple set out to clarify the notion of setting an intention, as well as share the benefits both in – and out – of the yoga studio.

At its most basic definition, an intention is a thought. But more than that, it is an aspiration of the soul. As Emily Hudson so beautifully articulates, “By calling to the forefront of your mind what your soul is needing most, you can use your intention to connect your practice to being.”

Therein lies the bigger question: How do I know what my soul needs most? The simplest answer: feel not what your mind tells you, but your heart tells you. 

While there is no right or wrong in setting an intention, following are a few simple intentions to inspire you (note that can begin your intention with “”I intend to” – or keep it simple and not…):

  • To treat myself with love and respect
  • To find peace in my heart.
  • To let love in. 
  • To live every waking minute of every day conscious, awake and aware and in the present moment.
  • To feel as much joy as possible. 
  • To open my heart, as fully as possible.
  • To reverse the aging process and fully rejuvenate my physical body and look and feel ageless.
  • To see beauty in everything, everywhere I go and in whomever I’m with.
  • To experience greater and greater levels of magic, fun and creativity.

Also remember that you can set an intention anytime – perhaps when you get out of bed each morning. The ultimate benefit is that being aware of your feelings both on and off the mat can open your heart.  And the heart, which contains something infinitely more powerful than the mind (love!) can overcome and heal anything.


Kirsten is a certified yoga instructor (E-RYT 200) living in Santa Barbara, California. When she is not practicing, writing about or teaching yoga, you can likely find Kirsten on a paddleboard or on the beach with her kids doing something silly.

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