As a yoga teacher, you may be aware of the practice of setting an intention before you start teaching your students or before you start your own personal practice. An intention acts as a reminder to bring your thoughts back to the present moment and keeps you in sync with your goal, which could be anything. And an affirmation works as an amazing tool to help you realize the intention.
For example, as a teacher, your yoga goal could be to help students with hip-openers or heart openers and you may choose a series of asanas that help them explore backbends and for this, you may choose an intention such as compassion or self-love which you would like to work around and inspire your students to cultivate these virtues as they hold the asanas.
The intention is different from setting goals for your practice. Your goal could be to balance on a handstand and to achieve this you will have to actively plan and measure your practice step by step and maybe even set a timeline to achieve the same. An intention; however, is more about cultivating that habit or value in everyday life and it becomes a long-term process and transformation. For a class that focuses on upper body strength, your intention could be in lines with ‘let me be strong’, ‘I am strong.’ etc.
“Setting an intention is like drawing an arrow from the quiver of your heart.”
Likewise, if your focus is to explore heart-openers, you will accordingly choose a mantra or affirmation that will enable your students to become aware of this intention and redirect their thoughts to not just holding a backbend but also towards deep inhalations. Including affirmations such as ‘I am love, I am light’ will empower them to transform at an emotional level and take their practice off the mat.
Many yogis find inspiration from Yama Niyama and work around the ten values to set an intention for their practice such as satya / truthfulness, saucha / cleanliness, Ishvara Pranidhana / surrender, etc. How does a mantra or affirmation help?
A mantra is a Sanskrit word which could mean a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, or a group of magic words in Sanskrit which create reverberations in the body and the environment which help you focus better, develop mental-power and strength and help them ascend into a higher level of consciousness. Likewise, positive affirmation is a short statement of truth which when repeated can help one absorb the values in daily lives.
Thus, often yoga teachers and practitioners use affirmations and mantras in their classes. Below is a list of 30 powerful yet simple affirmations that can either be repeated loudly or silently, either at the beginning of the class or towards the end. You can even take prints or create artwork around these affirmations and place them in your yoga studio/yoga space for daily inspiration.
Remember, repetition is the key to success. So we have chosen short and sweet positive affirmations that will be easy to remember and repeat. When off the mat, empower your affirmations with physical touch, for example, if you are repeating ‘I am love’ it will help if you place one hand on your heart-center. Zen-like music in the background, incense sticks, etc. are all great tools to enhance your experience.
- Why compare, there is only one ME! And I love and accept myself as I am.
- I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.
- I am at peace with my past. I love who I am and who I am becoming.
- Every breath, I inhale confidence and love and I exhale doubts and stress.
- My body is incredible, strong, flexible, and beautiful. I am perfect.
- All happens for a good reason. All is well in my life. I am grateful.
- I am aware and I am complete. I am a miracle.
- I am the light and the light is in me. I am love.
- I create only supportive and positive relationships. I attract positivity.
- I give and attract unconditional love, positive vibrations, abundance, and sacred connections.
- I allow creativity to flow through me with ease. I am a powerful creator.
- I am worthy of abundance. Amazing opportunities exist for me in all walks of life.
- The universe always provides for me. I am connected to the universe.
- I am grounded in acceptance and others love me for who I am.
- I make healthy choices. I am healthy and strong.
- I trust myself. I turn my dreams into reality.
- I let go when I have to and surrender to the magical universe.
- I do not worry about what I cannot control and allow myself to be divinely guided and protected.
- I listen to my inner guide. I let my inner child blossom. I trust. I love.
- I love you. I forgive you. I release you.
- Everything I need is already with me.
- All thoughts are temporary. I am aware. My mind is calm and clear.
- I worry less and learn more. There is no such thing as failure, it is always a new opportunity.
- My heart is kind, my mind is focused and my spirit is love.
- I become what I believe. I trust my intuition.
- I honor my commitment to myself and others. I live in harmony with myself and others.
- I am grounded. I am balanced. I am centered.
- I am at peace. I inhale love and exhale fears.
- I am safe. I am joyful. I am choosing ease.
- I am present in the moment and I let go of what doesn’t serve me.