At the start of your yoga asana practice, your Ora instructor may or may not ask you to set an intention. I believe this is very important to empower yourself to the most beneficial practice. Research shows that setting an intention to reach a goal, when it is specific, leads to higher performance, and is associated with stronger motivation to achieve this goal (N. Langton, et al.).

To Define Intentions

What kind of intentions are we talking about here? An intention can be close to anything; perhaps something that resonates with you at that moment. Some people like to use a reoccurring intention; one that they repeatedly will apply for every practice that week-even for months-or until they feel at peace with it. I’d recommend that the intention is simplified. Here are some examples of intentions:

To be free in this world, to be free in your body, for others to be free just as you deserve to be. Repeat the word, freedom.
As I am
Without judgement, without a label, be yourself, as you are. People often get caught up in their image, or drawn to expectations; throw them away, and be-as you are. Repeat the words, as I am.
I am that too
Have you been labeling others? Telling your friend that he or she is being selfish? You are that too. We are all that too. If you can name it, you are it. It just may show up in the universe differently. Repeat the words; I am that too.

Maybe you would like to show up as more compassionate, or you would like to see more compassion in your life as a whole. Repeat the word, compassion.
Set an intention to be more grateful, and to show more gratitude. Repeat the word, gratitude.
Having the means to show less defence, to put down your wall when you are being stubborn and become defenceless. Repeat the word, defencelessness.

Consider that setting an intention isn’t only to be placed at the beginning of your yoga asana practice. You are encouraged to set intentions when you first wake up, and as your day goes on. Your yoga instructor is giving you the opportunity to bring awareness to this intention once again or starting a new one. Once you have set, or have been reminded of your intention, there are many ways on how to execute this throughout your practice, and throughout the rest of your day.

Let it go

If you were conscious and aware while setting your intention, maybe just let it go into the universe. Forget about it. Trust that it will show up in your life, just like when a song will pop into your head out of nowhere. Without force, the universe will give you its answers, when you are ready.

Dedicate yourself

Dedicate your entire practice to this intention. The more you are aware of your intention, the more it will sink into every cell of your body. In every asana, take a few moments to repeat this intention in your head. Inhale, repeat your intention, exhale, allow it to ripple through your body. Your body reacts strongly to repetition.

Break it down

Come back to your intention during a couple of breaks throughout your practice. A break such as having some water to stay hydrated, or return to a meditative seat and repeat this intention over and over, for at least a few minutes.


Set a reminder on your phone. As frequently as you wish, set a reminder of your intention to pop up on your phone throughout your week, or throughout your day. Just reading the words of your intention will keep you consciously or unconsciously aware of your goal.

Trust that your intentions are achievable. Trust that they are relative to living a more expansive life. Trust that they will guide you to what you genuinely want to discover. Be careful not to force any answers out of yourself on the lines of your intention. They are meant to show up in the universe when you are ready, just as you once did when you were born.


Organizational Behaviour-Concepts, Controversies, Applications 7th Ed. Nancy Langton, Stephen P. Robbins, Timothy A. Judge.