These days we hear many words that may not hold much meaning; with the rise of advertising to entice us and the wellness space using colourful language to describe how we wish to feel, it's easy to feel confused.
Now you've found yourself here, which means you know I'm a yoga teacher, and I believe in the transformative power of meditation, movement, breath work and relaxation. It's through yoga that I explore my intentional living. But what the hell does that even mean?
With the decline of organised religion, certainly in people under 50 culturally, we find ourselves at a bit of a crossroads regarding divine guidance. As science fills in the factual blanks of worship, we're drawn to the data to place us firmly in reality. But this can make us feel small, possibly even insignificant, certainly when we see images of solar systems light years away that we may never be able to explore in this lifetime.
So, where do we find the balance between grounded, realistic fact and our hearts yearning for belonging, wonder and magic?
For me, mythology is the place bringing history, fable, geology and philosophy together. But there are a million different ways to find a connection to suit you and your beliefs.
Take my partner and me, for instance; I believe in a human soul, a part of us universally bound to be recycled into many lives, experiences and bodies. On the other hand, my partner accepts a more earthly wrapped pattern, that when we pass on from this life, what our bodies decay into creates rich nutrients found in the soil to feed the flowers, trees and meadows for wildlife to thrive.
While one is more factually accurate, neither can be wrong because it's a thought that comforts us in this lived experience and offers us solace in what is in store for us beyond this life.
If we can form an idea of what is beyond this life, it empowers us to find more meaning in the moment. After all, through the understanding of death, we learn to live.
And this is where modern intentional living can become paramount. Listening to guidance from within, a god, spirit, your soul, the universe or the earth itself, is a way of surrendering to the cosmic power of your actions. Finding a job that gives you purpose in the world, enjoying deeper conversations with friends and family and learning to spend time alone to harmonise the seemingly fractious parts of yourself through dedicated practice, whatever that may be.
I'll always recommend starting with a deep breathing practice to drop you in the present moment.
In a modern society where capitalism drives, we must look to simple everyday rituals that connect us with a more profoundly spiritual bond to ourselves. It may be religion or something you've created yourself, but acting with intention and purpose can illuminate seemingly simple or superfluous action, giving you more time and space to flourish.
You don't need goop products or a subscription to a fitness app. To get started, I'd recommend a space in your home filled with images that bring you joy, perhaps a nice view out a window, a notebook for journalling, poetry writing or drawing, some scents that uplift you, maybe a way to play music and a comfortable seat. What you do from there is your creation, your exploration, with your deepest intentions for the day, week, month and year ahead at the very centre.
If this kind of practice calls you I'm running a deep dive course into the spiritual side of yoga, offering you a window to peer within to enrich your experience. Fancy it? Email me: email@example.com