It’s time to get on the mat, on the cushion, or on the floor if nothing else is available. Set an intention to practice, and notice: How is the body? Where is the breath? What is in the heart and mind? How is it now?
I can’t “think” myself into yoga, using an everyday kind of thinking or problem-solving. It’s like ordering someone: “Relax!” rather than creating the conditions that invite relaxation. For most of us, it’s not enough to think, “Now I will be present.” This might be our intention, and yet at every moment, in ordinary life, changing conditions tug at us and set us adrift again.
More obviously, it’s not enough to just think about doing asana; instead, we need to actually move our bodies, and let the poses change and move us.
In my experience, intention is meaningful when supported by dedication, discipline, a set of practices to invite, learn, cultivate, and grow — so that more and more the practices gradually build and support presence and awareness. Yoga asana and meditation as practices are not over, done, or perfect; rather, practice makes more practice.
If we believe that “all life is yoga” (Sri Aurobindo), how do we truly enact, live, and practice that so that it’s not just conceptual but actually a pervasive way of being?