Intention is defined as setting an expectation for yourself, the expectation for growth and evolution. The practice of yoga allows us to reconnect to our commitment to growing by giving us time to focus on our Intentions. The consistency of the yogic practice promotes keeping the promises we make ourselves while at the same time yoga challenges us to expand our expectations and emotional range.
I still hold dearly to one particular childhood tradition of having growth spurt competitions with my brother. It warms my heart remembering those pencil markings on the doorsill. A moment of sadness and longing came over me the day my mom stopped measuring and I stopped growing. And while this discussion has thus far been dedicated to physical growth, the real growing happens when you’re an adult. Your yoga practice serves to cultivate a much deeper growth of spirit and individuality.
When we enter adulthood our growth switches focus from external to internal. As adults, physical growth takes a back seat to our spiritual and emotional growth, which carries no chronological limit. In the therapeutic practice of Yoga Cikitsa, we always ask ourselves in the simple words of a renowned master, Gary Kraftsow,"Am I making things better?" This question gets to the heart of the most important question of all, are you still growing?
Your Growth Can De Manifested In Many Ways, For Instance
- Are you challenging yourself to learn new poses?
- Are you deepening a conscious relationship? (Finding better ways to solve problems, creating a fresh vision)
- Are you trying new types of food?
- Are you going to new places? (It may be time for a much needed yoga retreat! Quoting the Dalai Lama, “Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before!”)
- Are you learning another language?
- Are you expanding your reading range (Promise yourself to read double the national average of books. According to the Pew Research Center, 14 percent of Americans read at least 2-3 books last year.
- Are you making new friends?
- Are you going deeper in familiar poses?
- Are you learning a new skill, developing a new hobby, trying new things?
"The only difference between a flower that is alive and one that is dead is that the one that’s alive is still growing." – Dr. Wayne Dyer
It was a result of meditating on the question of whether I’m still growing that some years ago I made the commitment to start leading worldwide yoga retreats. I have also made an active effort in supporting my partner through marathon and cycling adventures and competitions. My goal for writing this was to give everyone a chance to reinvest in their growth and evolution. While holding the belief of helping all individuals grow into kinder, more patient, and more loving people, I am confident that we are most inspired when we maintain an attitude of constant growth.
Today, recommit to affirm your best intentions!