Setting Intentions

Running Diary, Week Fourteen: Yoga for “runners” and starting off 29 with the right intentions

I’ve been doing a fair bit of yoga over the past week and I’m noticing a significant improvement in my running, not necessarily in terms of performance but more so in my recovery times. I’m also learning to find a balance to avoid going too far one way, like all yoga or all running, and it’s nice. I have a tendency to become singular in my focus so this is certainly new territory for me but I’m starting to accept that things can’t always go my way, which brings me to the bulk of today’s post: acceptance.

At the beginning of each of my yoga practices we’re told to set an intention, which helps guides us through the class. Unlike a goal, we’re not meant to work aggressively to achieve our intentions, rather they’re meant to inform our practice and provide a grounding point or something we can return to when we need it. Lately I’ve been choosing “acceptance” as my intention – accepting the limits of my body for that particular time and day, for the limits of reality, and accepting things in a broader sense, like my life outside the studio and “off the mat” as they often say.

Until now, the focus of yoga has primarily been for the physical benefits and I haven’t paid as much attention to where it leads me mentally and spiritually. Since I’ve begun setting intentions and really, truly been trying to work with them, something has changed and yoga is now much more rewarding because it encompasses so many facets of my life. As such I made it a point to practice today because I wanted to start off my 29th year in a positive way, and I went with the intention of having good intentions.

The instructor for today’s practice is special to me. The first time I attended one of her classes was two days after we found out my dad had cancer and she said a few things that resonated with me. Furthermore, I remember being calmed by her presence, so I was excited to learn that she would be leading me through my lesson today. During the class she said a lot of things that brought me to the verge of tears – things that I won’t repeat because they feel special to me – and one of her primary points was learning to embrace change while staying grounded, and accepting the things we cannot control. Once again, the word acceptance popped up and it suddenly felt very clear what the universe was trying to tell me: stop being such a control freak and let it go. I think there’s a difference between being apathetic/lacking drive and acceptance/understanding but for a long time I chose to ignore those differences. It feels good to finally know.

Downward dog with my clingy dog: reason #1 why all my yoga practices take place outside of my place and in a studio
Downward dog with my clingy dog: reason #1 why all my yoga practices take place outside of my place and in a studio

P.S. Sorry for my erratic posting schedule. It will return to normal shortly!

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