As we start each yoga class or series of classes, you may find me asking the question, “why are you here today?” You might have a quick answer like: “I want to improve my balance and flexibility.” But I’d like you to go a little deeper than that.
Right now, my intake forms are filled with a panoply of reasons like these:
- Better balance
- Improve flexibility
- Mental and physical nourishment
- Maintain strength
- Reduce or manage chronic pain
- Better self-care habits
- Better Breathing
- Improve Posture
- Stress relief
- Improve mind-body connection
- Calm, Peace of Mind
Behind all these worthy hopes lies another reason, the reason that will motivate you and keep you progressing, keep you in touch with who you are in this moment. Continue to ask why until you have that core reason, until you find your deeper “why”.
Finding Your Why
- Why do you (want to) practice yoga?
- Because I want to improve my balance.
- WHY do you want better balance?
- So I can take a walk by myself without fear of falling.
- WHY do you want to take a walk by yourself?
- Because I want to be able to enjoy the life I have.
Turn Your Why Into an Intention
From there, turn your “Why” into a positive, present tense phrase that you can easily repeat to yourself internally.
For example, “I enjoy the life I have.”
This is your intention. When we repeat intentions internally, we can actually repattern ourselves from within, cognitively.
And it works as a motivator, when we’re practicing yoga, to remember why we’re there. More on Guide to Intention Setting.
Secret: I’m doing something called motivational interviewing, and hopefully empowering you to practice self-study or svadhyaya, one of the five niyamas or self observances of yoga.
Why do you practice yoga? Feel free to leave some comments for me!