Yoga Therapy Perth AustraliaI came across this on a menu board on a recent family trip to Thailand and it gave us all a laugh. Of course we knew full well what the intention was behind those words and that we’d be eating fried rice with crab – not crap!

It might seem like a bizarre connection to make but it reminded me of how I’ll sometimes be teaching a yoga class and say something in Sanskrit (the language that yoga practices are named from) and the pronunciation isn’t 100%. It’s not my area of strength so perhaps I’m inadvertently asking you to “clip your toenails” rather than execute “hand to big toe pose”! I’m not afraid to admit that I’m not an expert in everything; however the “intention” behind my words is always 100% wholesome. For example –

  • My intention is for you to safely practice a pose
  • My intention is for you to do it in a way where you can stay present in your own body
  • My intention is for you to quiet the craziness of your hectic mind
  • My intention is for you to discover something about yourself and get glimpses of your true nature.
  • My intention is pure, even though my pronunciation is s**t………..

This is yoga – both as a practice and as a state of being. Yoga is a means to quiet the craziness of your hectic mind so that you may glimpse your true nature. Again, this is my own interpretation of the yoga sutras (1.2 & 1.3) and isn’t absolute. Yoga is a state of being as well as a means of attaining that state of being and this can be a confusing concept.

I suggest that instead of getting caught up in technicalities when attending yoga classes,  it’s easier instead to focus on the intention behind the words, rather than the words themselves. These are some questions that you might ask yourself.

  • Am I practicing yoga?
  • Is this practice leading me towards this state of yoga?
  • Does this feel like a good fit for me?

These are much more important questions to ask ourselves than “Why didn’t this teacher pronounce or explain that the same way as my other teacher? I wonder who is right or more authentic? I can’t touch my toes yet, am I doing yoga?”  Refer again to “Yoga is a means to quiet the craziness of your hectic mind so that you may glimpse your true nature.” and herein, you will find the answer.

There are many ways to practice yoga and navigating all the different styles can be confusing but coming back to intention is a great way to pick the useful from the not so useful. Intention is a two way street so it can be nice every now and again to revisit this question yourself “What is my intention when I practice yoga?” The answer may not always be exactly the same each time but it may help you to get what it is that you need from your practice.

If you feel inspired to do so, I’d love to hear what your intention is for your practice at the moment. Simply go to our Facebook page here and find the post with this picture on it to make a comment 🙂

I’d also like to thank the delightful Leanne, an eastern states yoga therapist as she inadvertently inspired this BLOG post and sparked my interest after a wonderful talk she gave, I wonder if that was her intention?…….

Charley Hickey

Find out more about Yoga Therapy Perth Australia or gentle weekly yoga classes in Perth