Monthly Musing – June 2019 – Good intentions
I’ve been going to a new yoga class with big daughter. It’s run by one of the teachers whom big daughter has got to know through her university yoga society, and having been to a few classes now, I can see why she is keen for us to keep attending.
“I want you to feel better when you leave than you did when you arrived,” she says, and we do.
One of the things that I like best about the class is that right at the beginning, the teacher asks everyone to set an intention for themselves. Not a “when I get home I’m going to do all the ironing, cut the grass, write 15 blog posts and knit all the pairs of socks hiding in project bags” kind of intention, but more to do with balance and flow in our lives. She encourages us to think about what might be out of balance (you’ve only got to look at that earlier sentence to see that my to-do list compared to my sit-and-rest list might be a bit out of kilter!) or what might not be flowing quite right. It’s a moment for reflection and it’s probably just as well that we’re all sitting there with our eyes shut as it always makes me rather emotional! The idea is that you carry the intention with you for the rest of the day; something calm to help you deal with the to-do list that you go back to.
I’ve been trying recently to bring that practice into my morning routine. It’s not easy when you try to combine staying in bed till the last possible minute with making sandwiches (no, I never remember to do them the night before), rounding up PE kit, school bags and small daughter (never where I think any of them should be), feeding mithering pets and any of the umpteen things that seem to need doing in the morning despite my best intentions to be organised. I am doing my best, though, and this week I’ve found myself a few moments to sit quietly and think about what I would like my day to be like. It does seem to help, and I am finding that I am feeling calmer about all the things that I have to do.
Yoga isn’t for everyone, but the idea of taking a few moments each morning to think about how you would like your life to be, to imagine that your day is flowing smoothly and successfully, and to listen to your breathing, the birdsong outside, even the rhythm of cars as they pass by on the road, is something that I am all in favour of. We have to take these moments of stillness when we can in our busy lives, and most importantly, not feel guilty about sitting for even just five minutes. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves, how can we hope to look after others? It’s only by doing that, I think, that we really can leave the day – never mind the yoga class – feeling better than when we arrived.