practice yoga with intention. live with intention

Below is a journal entry from Jes Trombley-Owens.  Jes is currently enrolled in the evolation yoga flow teacher training in Tampa, Florida and kindly agreed to share her day 7 journal entry.  Enjoy!  

Sunday, 7 days into yoga teacher training immersion and I’m feeling more aware of my physical self, my mind, body, thoughts and feelings.  I have been spending roughly 14 hours a day with 18 other people which before today I had never met.  I am learning about them on a level in which I don’t know and understand some of my family members.  And I am realizing I am embarking on a journey that has little to do with the physical postures of yoga, the asanas, rather I am learning about myself, how to breathe and the importance of transcendence into a new stage of life.

Our ego tells us that we must practice yoga to reap the physical benefits (the vain ones).  Yogi’s tend to have beautifully elongated muscles, toned bodies and physiques that I once thought was their driving force behind hours of practice.  I remember once diving into a yoga class and thinking, I do yoga because I want the yoga  body.  Now I realize, I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I, just like the majority of lululemon donning females in a yoga class, found myself on my mat for the workout.  I wanted the sweat and not because I knew it was detoxifying my body, because it meant I was burning calories, I was losing weight, I was one more yoga class closer to being the me I dreamed of.  I was in a race, chasing something I was never going to be able to catch.  I can see that now.  Even at my best self, I was still never good enough for what my mind, my ego, thought I should be.  I was practicing the furthest thing from yoga.

Our time on our mat is about placing our bodies in physically stressful positions, learning how to breathe through the burning, the pain, the unpleasant so that when we walk off the mat and into the world we are able to breathe through the tough experiences in life.  It’s about understanding that no matter how much your legs burn and your arms grow tired, all you have to do is breathe and this moment in time will pass, just as all the painful moments in life do.  If in a twisted, contorted balancing pose you fall, its okay.  In yoga, just as in life, we get back up and we try again.

After practicing yoga for 5 years, I now understand why we “set our intention” at the beginning of class.  I never quite understood the meaning of the intention of my practice until now. And my intention for the 90 minutes of yoga is only  a tiny piece….Yoga is about doing everything with intention, every step, every handshake, every sip of water….its action with meaning, with intent.  It’s moving through a class and every placement, every posture, is done with engagement of the brain and knowing intention.  This connects the mind with the body. So when you see me, when you meet me, hug me with your mind, shake my hand with intent and look me in the eyes.  Think about that.  You can look at someone’s arm, hand, feet and feel nothing inside your own self, your own soul.  But look in their eyes and what do you see?  What do you feel?  We connect with others through our eyes, for that brief moment we understand their pain, their joy and maybe for a second can see their journey. Why? Because we are also seeing a reflection of ourselves.