Are you dedicated to something? It doesn’t have to be yoga. A lot of people who do yoga use this practice to support other aims. However, being dedicated to something enough to offer your yoga practice for that end can have a more formal place in your practice. Setting your intention for your practice doesn’t have to mean just focusing on what you are trying to do with your body, or how you wish to benefit yourself. A yoga practice dedicated to someone you care for, for a project bigger than just yourself, for something bigger than just you can be a meaningful way to express your own direction in life, and a prayerful entry point for the practice of yoga.
If you want to find a way to offer such a dedication at the beginning of your yoga practice, there are many ways to express this. For example, you can take a moment and hold your intention in the mind before moving. Perhaps you have a way you like to make a silent prayer. In many traditions people light a candle at the beginning of practice to show dedication to their spiritual tradition or as a way of offering thanks to their teachers in the tradition of yoga or their religion. These ways of taking a moment to make our practice a gift for someone or something outside ourselves can contribute significantly to how we view our practice, and make it more meaningful.
Remember that this is an opportunity for creativity, you get to decided the way to offer the way you direct your mind in the practice for the benefit of others, or as a moment of gratitude. It does not matter what traditions you follow, or whether you bring the same interests or ideas as those around you. What matters is really the effect of opening up your heart and emotions to make you available to the practice of yoga and what it can become. Who you thank, what you think is happening with this time, is up to you. The tradition of yoga does not require anything specific, but that we open our hearts to others, and that we connect with the world around us as a part of this practice. This practice of yoga is not a solo gift. Perhaps you practice alone. Perhaps you never practice alone. Either way, the benefit does extend to those around you. The effects this practice will have on you are limited only by your own body, attention, intention, and perseverance. Should you decide to, you can let go of concern for your own benefit and offer some to others. What do you think you would like to direct this effort toward? Who can you thank for this great opportunity?
Yoga Pose of the Day: Simple Seated Position with Anjali Mudra (this is a great practice for reducing stress and offering thanks)
Yogic Concept of the Day: I will direct my attention toward ______________ during my yoga practice today.