Whether you have big dreams of being able to do handstands wherever, whenever you want or your ambitions lie somewhere closer to relieving back or hip pain, everyone is different. And that’s ok! As you begin practicing yoga, ask yourself what your goal is. Do you have one?
Your yoga goal might be a long-term goal (i.e., I want to be able to hold crow for 1 minute or longer) or more of a short-term goal (i.e., I want stress relief…now!). Did you know that you can set a yoga goal at the beginning of each practice? We sometimes call these intentions.
You can set intentions that are big or seemingly small. Sometimes your yoga goal is simply to get through your practice without succumbing to outside temptations (like that text message you heard come through). Your life outside your practice will still be there when you’re done. If you’re dedicating 45 minutes to yoga, your intention could be to be present during the entire 45 minutes.
Other times, your practice is in need of a larger yoga goal. At times that means getting out of your comfort zone and setting the intention of trying something you haven’t done before. Or maybe it means being open to trying something at which you had previously been unsuccessful.
No matter what your yoga goal is, making sure you have one is important. If you don’t have a goal to keep you focused, it is easy to lose track of your why.
Why are you practicing?
Your why will dictate how you craft your intention.
Wondering what goes into setting a yoga goal? Here are a few tips.
- Time frame. Are you thinking of a short-term goal (de-stress!) or a long-term goal (handstands!)? The difficulty of your goal will affect the length of time it takes to achieve it.
- Practicality. Anything is possible. However, you should start by setting a goal or intention that you’re sure to achieve. When you do that, you’re setting yourself up for short-term and long-term success. Know how much time you have as well as how much energy you’re ready and willing to put in to make your dreams a reality.
- Openness. Eventually, you will succeed in making the goals you set out for yourself. When that happens, it’s time to set new (possibly more difficult) goals, which means you’ll have to be open to newness. New poses, new studios, new flow sequences. After you’ve done it a few times, it won’t be new anymore!