As a yogi on the mat, we can have any number of reasons why we’re there.  From time to time, as a teacher, I like to be a bit more specific on the intention setting for my class.  Here is one of those intentions…

I have friends that have dedicated their lives to the concept “1 of 7,” meaning that for every week, one day is set aside to give back.  Giving back can be anything from volunteering for a charity, mowing the lawn of a neighbor, or even picking up garbage on a beach in the Philippines.  Through living this mantra, they show that giving back can be fun and easy.  As well as a regular event.  Go check them out here: http://1of7.org/home

As a practicing yogi, what can I give back to the world via my mat?  What is one thing the world needs more?  Time and positive energy, simply stated.  As far as intention setting goes, the challenge is simply presented to the class – think of a family member, a friend, a co-worker, someone that is in a rough patch of their life right now.  The rough patch may be relationship or job issues, financial, or just down.  I challenge the class to think of that one person during the time we spend together, especially when we get to heart opening back bends.  If we envision love being sent to the universe with a back bend, why not put a name on that love?  The class becomes a sort of moving meditation, dedicated to one person.

At the end of class, as students return from savasana, I encourage students to check in with themselves – mind, body, emotions.  How are they feeling overall after the class?  What has shifted?  Before sealing the class with a final namaste, I give the class their yoga homework – tell the person.  It’s within that moment of sharing the power of the mat is most evident.