The Asheville Yoga Center Blog

With Regard to the Mention of Intention…

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not, to put it into action.

At the beginning of some yoga classes, the teacher will denote a portion of time, either just before or after meditation for students to set an intention for their class. Personally my intentions are usually something like honoring my body in my practice, or developing the time for some peace out of my busy day. Both of which are both pretty down to earth realistic intentions that aren’t hard to accomplish during a yoga class. Other times, I decide to donate the selfless peace that comes when I practice to a homeless person that I passed on the way to class, or to all of the homeless people in the world. Just as a simple token of the positive energy that I develop on my mat and I send it out as a gift to each one. Other times, I donate the energy from class to a friend that has been ill recently or to one that is having a hard time in life.

Then there are other intentions that we implement off the mat. These being our daily intentions , to have a great day when we get up, to accomplish a lot during our day, to work hard, to be more organized. They are our  to-do list type of intentions.  Then there are our spur of the moment intentions when someone beeps at us at a stop light or worse shoots us the finger in traffic, we either intend to respond, or we intend to let it blow by like a cloud in the wind. Personally I always do the later.

Our intentions on the mat, off the mat – in our day to day lives, in our long term periods of time (even though – yes we aren’t supposed to be looking into the future we plan our intentions). Our intentions, what we put out into the universe, can have an interesting effect on what happens in our lives. It is in fact what we intend on.

For example, I can bet that the majority of the people in the world are searching for something more out of this world. Some could define it easily, like a relationship, to travel, to have a child. We meditate, pray about it, contemplate it, we wait for it, we dwell on it. But our intentions, where we place our energy and mindset are not always stated to the universe in a positive way. For example, we often state internally and externally what we don’t want. I don’t want to work so many hours, I don’t want to be frustrated with a relationship, I don’t want to be in debt. This is what the universe hears – The Dont’s.

But what the universe really wants to hear is a positive statement.

My mom told me at a very early age, give it up to the universe, whatever it is throw it out there and see what comes back. Maybe you know exactly, maybe not. Set the intention, you will get back more of what you need, what the universe has in store for you than you realize and many times you won’t even know why.

I was recently reading an article (which actually caused me to decide to write this post), by Kathryn Budig off of the Elephant Journal site. And everything became even more clear to me. Kathryn has a way of just reminding and reaffirming what we already know. I love that about her.  In one of her awesome posts, she talked about a song called, Come Live the Life Your Given.

Hear it, see it.

It makes so much sense.

In another post titled Words of Wisdom, she writes about the universe and bliss. By all means, read her entire article, but what stood out to me the most was, her quote by Joseph Campbell –

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

Then she talks about how the universe is looking out for you, the world should all be in true form and we should be our true selves. According the universe we should be doing exactly what it is we are meant to do while we are here. Sometimes, what we think we are meant to do, or what society says we are meant to do is different from what is really meant for us, therefore we are searching, but aren’t sure why.

So, next time you aren’t sure what intention to set, try listening – really listening, try trusting, and then try just seeing what it is that the universe has in store for you by offering it up to the universe. You might receive a pleasant surprise. And if you do know what you don’t want, state it is a positive instead of as a negative statement and see what positive energy comes back.

The author, Tiffany Cantrell, is a a computer teacher, yoga teacher and ambassador for Yoga Vibes. She is originally from Boone, NC and currently residing in Florida. Tiffany completed her yoga teacher training at The Asheville Yoga Center and is currently working on her 500 hour training (also at AYC). “It is my favorite place to go in the world!” she says. Visit Tiffany’s blog at