Setting Intentions : Appreciation


A year and a half ago, I blogged about my first hot yoga experience. Here’s the nutshell version: I hated it. I boiled in my own sweat and I swore I’d never get used to it, but with that frame of mind, I wouldn’t. The moment I shifted my perspective, I began practicing with new delight.

I started going once a week, but over time I’ve worked my way up to practicing four or five times a week, which has done wonders for my health, both mentally and physically.

At the start of every yoga session, students are asked to set an intention–a focus–for the duration of class. This can be anything from peace, clarity, strength…basically, you want to find something to focus on when the practice gets very hot or you find yourself wanting to give up. The thing you focus on is what inevitably manifests itself in your life if you push through.

When I started 2014, I decided to set an intention for the year. This, obviously, extended beyond yoga, so I focused on Appreciation. Whenever I’m bummed out, frustrated, or on the verge of a freak out, I focus on being appreciative for what I have…and my mind settles. This small change has helped me in dark moments and I decided to express my appreciation for being guided to finding a new part of me to a few instructors.

Nervously, I emailed a group of instructors and explained I was a photographer…I wanted to say thanks for what they’ve given me…and if they’d let me, I’d love to get them in front of my camera. If I could show how beautiful they were on the inside, I’d be honored. Lucky for me, Amber, Rhadika, and Maggie joined me in Newport Beach on a cloudy day for photos.

These instructors, at one point or another, have pushed me beyond what I thought was possible…they challenge me to shine, both literally and physically.

Sometimes I imagine myself looking like Rhadika when I practice, but in reality I probably look like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz…

If I didn’t love being a photographer so much, I’d love to be a yoga instructor…I mean, having a legitimate reason to wear yoga pants all day sounds like heaven to me.

Namaste, y’all.