Weekly Intention

  • Seeds of Intent: Breathe Through It

    "The only way out is through The only way we'll feel better The only way out is through ultimately” ~Alanis Morissette

    Breathe Through it

    Stuff's gonna go down. Stuff's gonna get messy. You can attempt to work around it or avoid it. You can try to bottle it up. You can play the denial card. You can alter your state of mind to temporarily subdue or numb it. You can try whatever futile escape mechanism you wish, but ultimately the only way out of a mess is through it.

    You gotta go through the motions and emotions to come out on the other side. Whether it’s a painful breakup or a brewing breakdown, you have to go through it to really deal with it and get over it. Fortunately, while you’re navigating your way through a mess there’s something you always have with you to help you better deal: Your breath.

    Your breath is your internal tool of power. In the practice of yoga, the breath is considered a mantra or a vehicle of the mind. The very simple act of tuning into your breath – observing the inhales and the exhales – can transport you from negativity, frustration, anger, freakouts, sadness, loneliness, depression, etc. Whatever you’re going through, the breath has the power to quiet, calm, and mend.

    You don’t need wine and the accompanying hangover. You don’t need ice cream and the accompanying food baby and/or sugar-induced coma. You don’t need to go for a long deranged run, scaring everyone with your crazy eyes. You don’t need any of these extreme measures to get through it. All you need is what you have with you always: Your breath.

    Work troubles? Breathe through it. Family frustrations? Breathe through it. A lover’s quarrel? Breathe through it. Sickness or injury? Breathe through it. Whatever it is. Breathe through it. Consciously breathe through it. If you practice this, you will feel better. You will ultimately get through it with greater ease.

    The only way out is through, yogis. The way is in the breath.

    To practice breathing exercises and techniques, tune into these free online yoga videos.

  • Seeds of Intent: Sculpt Positive Thoughts

    "Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be." ~Henry David Thoreau

    positive thoughts

    Your thoughts are energy. As energy, they have the power to create, alter, heal, and destroy. Thoughts can guide you to beautiful mental realms – realms of success, peace, fortune, health, happiness, and love. Thoughts can steer you down dark mental corridors – corridors of stagnation, fear, sickness, failure, negativity, and worthlessness. Thoughts can completely rewire your brain, re-sculpting its perspective and conditioned set point. Thoughts have the power to take you wherever you want to go whenever you want to go there, but not without consequence.

    Thoughts are actions. Certain actions yield certain results. In other words, you reap what you sow. Sow and sculpt positive thoughts and positive energy will follow. Sow and sculpt negative thoughts, and you’re bound to be on the receiving end of some negative energy.

    The first step in sculpting positive thoughts requires that you actually observe your thinking mind to gain heightened awareness of thought patterns that perhaps aren’t serving you. This can be done via mindfulness exercises, pranayama exercises, meditation, or just by the very act of engaging in more yoga.

    Once you realize your negative loops of thought (called samskaras in yoga), you can begin doing the necessary work to break free from conditioned habitual habits of thought and behavior.

    In yoga, there is a formula for breaking free from unhealthy samskaras. The process requires re-sculpting your thoughts. It is called sankalpa, meaning will, determination, or purpose. A sankalpa is an intention, a resolution, or a resolve that is practiced to unite with and realize your highest potential. The intention can be a simple one, such as gratitude, breath awareness, or surrender. Once you have it set, you thread this intention throughout all your thoughts, words, and actions. This practice ultimately awakens your inherent goodness - your true nature. It allows you to tap into your deep inner power and strengths, which many of us often struggle to realize and utilize.

    You can completely change your world by replacing negative thought patterns with positive, self-supporting ones. It’s a simple formula, though the change doesn't happen over night. Meaningful change requires dedication, work, and endless practice. Also, for an intention to work, you must not only firmly set it and diligently practice it; you must have faith in it. You must sincerely believe in it and your ability to manifest it.

    The practice of sankalpa is one of mindfulness and awareness. Keep coming back to this idea throughout your week. Observe your thoughts. Where are they taking you? Do you really want to go there? If not, try to tackle the underlying reason for going there. What’s getting you stuck in these negative loops of thought? Where would you rather go? Practice going there. Practice sculpting positive thoughts to create the person you truly want to be.

    For a simple exercise in observing your thinking mind, check out this free online yoga offering - Meditation 101 - with Ashley Turner.

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