by Claire Grieve: It’s a new year and a new decade…
Now is the perfect time to set intentions for what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Try this yoga flow to set your New Year’s intentions and manifest everything that you want in 2020.
To start, grab your journal and write down one to three things you would like to achieve next year. Be realistic; set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
This yoga flow requires focus, balance, and persistence—attributes that will help achieve all that you desire next year. As you hold each pose, focus on a point ahead and set the intention to achieve the goals you wrote down for the year.
Chair pose is a powerful pose that requires strength and focus. This pose will help you feel grounded in your intentions.
Instructions: Inhale, bend your knees, and lower your hips as if you are sitting in a chair. Raise your arms to the sky, allowing your shoulders to relax away from your ears. Sit down even lower, shift your weight into your heels, and lengthen your lower back. Draw your navel in and up to engage your core. Focus on a point a few feet in front of you, imagining your intentions on that point. Hold this pose for 60 seconds.
Tree pose is a beginners’ balance pose that requires focus and concentration. As you perform this pose, envision your intentions growing like branches from a strong, rooted foundation.
Instructions: Start in mountain pose. Place your right foot on your inner left thigh above or below the knee, pointing your toes down. Place your hands in prayer position at your heart center. Lengthen your tailbone to the floor as you extend your energy through the crown of your head.
Warrior 3 is a challenging balancing pose that requires immense focus. As you work to find your balance in this pose, imagine applying the same mechanisms of balance to achieving your goals.
Instructions: Start in mountain pose. Inhale, reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, bend at the hips, and lean forward so your torso is parallel to the floor. Begin to extend your right leg behind you, flexing your foot, as you balance on your left leg. Bring your arms to prayer position. Keep your core engaged as you lengthen throughout your whole body. Hold your gaze about a foot in front of your standing leg.
Dancers pose represents balance, strength, flexibility, poise, and focus. Imagine yourself showing up to achieve your intentions carrying these qualities.
Instructions: Start in mountain pose. Grab the inside of your right shin or foot with your right hand. Extend your leg behind you, lifting your chest and heart to the ceiling. Reach your left arm forward to balance the position. Intently focus on a point ahead to maintain your balance.
Plank pose will help you feel strong and centered from your core. Imagine yourself being strong and unwavering as outside forces attempt to push you off course from your intentions.
Instructions: Begin in a pushup position on your hands and toes. Lower onto your elbows. Keep your neck straight and your core drawn into your spine. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Dolphin pose is a preparation for a challenging yet playful pose ahead. Take this pose as a gentle reminder that a strong foundation is essential for achieving your goals.
Instructions: Start on your hands and knees, bring your forearms to the ground and your shoulders directly over your elbows and hands. Face your fingers forward. Tuck your toes and lift your hips and belly toward the sky. Relax your head and neck.
Forearm balance is a challenging pose of focus, core strength, and balance. This pose might remind you that intentions are not always easy to achieve but that the journey can still be fun.
Instructions: *This is an advanced pose; attempt only if you have previously practiced this pose under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Start in downward-facing dog; lower your forearms to the floor with your elbows stacked under your shoulders. Press firmly through your hands as you draw your shoulders away from the ground. Walk your feet closer to your elbows and stack your hips over your shoulders. Raise your left leg straight up to the sky and walk onto the ball of your right foot. Gently press off your foot to lift both legs into forearm stand. Breathe and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Slowly release and rest into child’s pose.
After focusing on your goals, lie down in savasana and let them sink into your body and mind.
Instructions: Lying on your back, with your feet hip-width apart, relax your arms by your sides with the palms facing up. Let your shoulders soften away from your ears keeping your neck long. Breathe deeply and enjoy for two minutes!
I like to set a quarterly reminder and practice this intentional yoga flow every three months. This gives me an opportunity to check in on the progress of my goals and to reinforce my intentions for the rest of the year.