Holding Our Intentions

“We must set our intention, and then hold it continuously without wavering,” explains the Sadhu (yoga teacher) energetically, as I try to hold the warrior pose as if my life depended on it, trying to pay no attention to the burn in my legs. After about a century passes, I’m allowed to move back into the soothing downward dog and catch up on breathing just for a moment. The hands are glued to the mats, with the fingers spread apart. His keen eye notices every time the palms lift up even a little bit. Whether I’m in a comfortable pose or the “how am I going to get out of this one”, he reminds me: “You must be constantly aware of the four corners of the hands, and remember your intention to hold them there. This is the base for all other movements today.” 

I notice how quickly I forget to hold them down fully as I try to adjust my body into myriad other positions for the next two hours. Sadhu, like an eagle doesn’t skip a beat and pounces on me the second I’m careless. “Once you’ve set an intention, you have to learn to hold it and bring meaning to it -- otherwise, before you know it you’ll be going wherever the wind takes you.”

Words of such great wisdom -- that I reflect on way past the time spent being upside down or tied in knots, it’s exactly what I needed to hear today.

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