This week I asked each of my students to think about what their intentions were. If you have ever attended a yoga class, you may have been asked this from time to time usually towards the beginning of class. Sometimes a teacher will suggest your intention be a person for whom you would like to practice for, yourself included, and sometimes it is just a word. The way that I asked my students to think about it, is to place the two words I AM before a word or phrase of their choosing. By doing this they actually made their intention a state of being, rather than a physical object or person. The important point about using the words I AM is to suggest that whatever their intention may be, be it LOVE, PEACE, PRESENT, HAPPY, is that it is something that is already within them, it already exists. So often, we get caught up in thinking about all of the things that we aren't. I am not smart enough, skinny enough, rich enough etc. What ends up happening when we are consistent in this way of thinking is that we work from a deficit. All of our focus and energy goes towards all of the ways in which we are coming up short and therefore that's exactly how we see ourselves in our lives and in the world. When we switch that way of thinking and turn it around to come from a place of abundance and focus on what it is we DO have, or rather what we ARE, the game changes dramatically.
To use myself as an example, a few months ago I chose to work with the intention of I AM CLEAR. I was searching to bring more clarity to all of the ways I perceived I was falling short on knowing what it was I wanted to do in my life. I was looking to fill the void that not teaching yoga for the past year and a half had left in my life. I was also looking to work on something new, but I wasn't at all sure what that was. As I started working with my intention, I began to notice, not all of the ways I wasn't clear about what I wanted, but all of the ways in which I already was. I was very clear on who I was as a wife and a mom. I also saw that I was very clear on showing up to my yoga mat for a daily mediation or practice, no matter how much time I could spare. I realized that I had been telling myself this enormous lie, that I wasn't ready to step back into teaching because I had no real current relationship with the yoga world and that I was out of touch and had nothing to teach. In reality, I had a strong daily practice, I was meditating more than ever and I was actively seeking out teachers, classes and workshops online so that I could participate in conjunction with my daily life as a touring wife and mom. It became very apparent to me that I was already very clear on not only what I wanted, but what it is that I still loved to do. The only thing that I was still uncertain about was how to go about making it happen. The funny thing about intentions though, when you work them into your daily consciousness, any questions you have about "how" don't go unanswered for long. By committing to the personal inquiry, you immediately call possibility into action. It really just becomes a matter of logistics which are: "the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation" according to google. So I got organizing and implementing!
The beautiful thing about setting an intention for yourself, whether on or off the yoga mat, is that it brings you immediately into the present of what you have. You couldn't walk away from your yoga practice feeling peace, if peace didn't already exist inside of you. Same goes for love, or presence or happiness. When we ask ourselves to see these qualities in the state of I AM vs. I WANT we immediately give ourselves the permission to embody that quality. We also give permission to give up the old way of thinking that we weren't the embodied spirit of that intention to begin with. We bring abundance into our daily lives and what we create from that space of abundance only grows in the quality you were searching for in the first place. When we work from clarity, the things we work on are clear. Love attracts more love, acceptance more acceptance, joy more joy, presence more presence, gratitude more gratitude and forgiveness more forgiveness. I urge you to sit down for 5 minutes today, write down the words I AM and whatever your intention may be. Then just sit comfortably, close your eyes and breathe in the I AM, breathe out your intention. Allow yourself a little time and space to get present with what you have and to truly see yourself for all that you already are. And if you would like to have access to this weeks class to help put your intention into action, as well as all future classes be sure to go to the Classes page and sign up! Happy Sunday, Namaste.
I am really excited about this post because it is the beginning of something completely new! This past year and a half my life has been filled with so much joy and excitement. I have become a mom and traveled all over our country as well as gotten to know a new one. My husband, daughter and I have really been living our lives for the moment and the wonderful, crazy adventure that it has become as a family on the road. It has also been a time of personal re-discovery. Since I am a traveling mama, my yoga practice has changed dramatically. It is new to me again. With a new life role, a new space to explore in every city, a new body, new hopes and dreams, new fears, I can honestly say that my practice looks and feels much different than it did two years ago. Consequently, there has been a a huge shift towards and embrace of my home practice. I am always trying to fit it in the early morning hours, during nap time or after the day is done, toys are put away and all is quiet. I have discovered what it means to be a student again. One who isn't practicing just for the physical benefits, but because it truly puts me in a better place to cope with the every day minutia as a wife, mom, traveler and example of the kind of human I want to be for my daughter and the world.
That's not to say that I don't still love and long for the power of community that exists within the four walls of a studio. The amount of love and respect I have for all of the yoga communities that I have had the honor of teaching and being a part of is immeasurable and I carry that with me daily. I still feel very much a part of all of them because I know that just because we walk away from each other momentarily, doesn't mean that the community goes away.
Lately I have noticed how community is being created other, more unconventional ways. Whether it's through my online Moms groups or other forms/outlets of social media, I have seen that community really does and can exist beyond any four walls. As I was sitting in mediation recently, taking an online yoga class with one of my teachers, the thought popped into my head that I could create a community that follows me wherever I go. One that encompasses all of my communities of past, present and future. After a year and a half of not teaching because of lack of a studio, or time in one place, I no longer need to use that as an excuse not to teach and create. Instead I could, just like rediscovering how to approach my own practice, find a new approach to teaching. So it is with the greatest excitement that I share with you my latest project: Beginning this Sunday October 30th at 9am*est I will teach a LIVE yoga class over on the One OM at a time Facebook page and every Sunday that follows! There is a small fee of $10 a month in order to be added to the group and have access to the classes. To SIGN UP just head on over to my Classes page and hit Subscribe. You can practice with me LIVE every Sunday or the classes will remain on the feed so that you can do them at anytime, anywhere. I will also throw in some bonus classes and mediations from time to time. Each class will have a theme and I would invite you to use that class and theme as a way to kickstart your week ahead to bring focus, clarity and breath to whatever you are in the presence of in your life. I hope that you will join me in creating something new and practice alongside me, One OM at a time! Namaste!
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!