Yoga Nidra Intention Worksheet
(We recommend completing this exercise before doing the meditation to gain the maximum benefit and understanding!)
Intention is a mental organizing device to bring about cognitive/behavioral integration creating an alignment between what you think, what you say and what you do. An intention, once infused with the energy of clarity, becomes a constant point of reference orienting the direction of your life’s expression. Energy follows attention.
The purpose of this exercise is to refine your intention in such a way as to influence and transform your life pattern, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Refining your intention will require some measure of self-reflection. As with the actual practice of yoga nidra itself, this process of self-reflection begins on the periphery and evolves toward the center of stillness. With a little self-reflection, your self-awareness begins to move toward your center. You can see that it is your memories, preferences, projections and judgments that continue to cause the disturbance and disruption of your peace of mind. Finally, at the center, the purpose of removing the causes of stress and tension is so that you can move through life with a greater sense of ease and relaxation. In short, living life resting in a felt sense of calm awareness.
Crafting your own Intention
Step 1: What causes me stress?
List five “stress triggers”. List what “triggers” you the most first. These “triggers” may include specific people, specific situations at work or at home, it may include overwhelming concerns about finances or health. It may be that your stress pattern is triggered by behaviors that you have wanted to change and have been unable to effect.
Step 2: Watch without reacting.
Sit relaxed and begin taking relaxed deep breaths until you feel a sense of calm and stillness that you have experienced in yoga nidra. Do not skip the breathing. Look at what you have written in the number five ranking of your stress triggers. Maintaining a sense of ease, as though you were an impartial observer, note how you color the person, situation, or behavior with memories, preferences, projections or judgments. This is important: remain an impartial observer, just note, and do not” incriminate” yourself. If you feel yourself starting to get caught up in the story and drama, go back to the relaxed deep breaths until you can again become an impartial observer.
Step 3: Decide what you want in this situation.
Still working with the number five stress trigger, write down what it is that you really want for yourself in this specific situation. Be specific and identify that which you really want for yourself, at your center, in this situation regardless of whether the person or situation changes or not.
Step 4: Find what is keeping you from getting what you want.
Maintaining the sense of an impartial observer, again note how you color [Step 2] the person, situation or behavior with memories, preferences, projections and judgments. Write a concise and action specific sentence describing the change required that would enable you to achieve what it is that you really want, Step 3, in this situation. If by chance you fall into writers block, ask yourself what am I doing that stops me from creating what I really want? Write a sentence stating that you will release that.
Step 5: Refining Step 3.
Refine the specifics of Step 3 so that what you really want in this specific situation will be beneficial throughout the whole of your life patterns, physically, mentally and emotionally. Use the list below as guidelines to bring your intention into sharp focus. Energy follows attention. A clear and sharp focus on the specifics you want to create in your life patterns provides an “energetic channel”, a conduit, to make manifest those specifics.
- Is clear and specific about what you want in life.
- Written in the present tense.
- Genuinely expresses what you feel.
- Goes into effect immediately. There is no waiting for something to happen in the future.
- Each word is chosen consciously. There is a significant difference between the words tolerate and allow, want and need, should, could, would and will.
- Is as simple and concise a statement as possible.
Step 6: Repeat this process for what you have written in the number four slot of your “stress triggers”. Then for what you have written in the number three slot of your “stress triggers”, and so on to number one.