At the beginning of a yoga class your teacher may invite you to set a Sankalpa, or intention for your practice.
Setting a Sankalpa is one way we can live a more mindful and intentional life. Through setting an intention we are starting to take our yoga "off the mat" and make our yoga practice one of mindfulness and not simply an exercise class.
To set an intention, bring your awareness to a quality or virtue that you want to cultivate more of in your life. Perhaps you want to invite into your life more compassion, kindness, gratitude, grace, forgiveness or love. Perhaps you want to be more present or mindful, or better at letting go. Perhaps you want to cultivate balance and peace or health and wellness. Your intention can be anything.
In wording your intention be sure to frame it positively.
"I am compassionate and kind"
"I forgive myself and others"
"I am at peace"
"I am balanced in mind and body"
"I have an open heart"
Set your intention right at the beginning of your practice.
First, find stillness. Notice your breath, in through the nose and out through the nose. Now, what is your intention. Sit with it for a few moments.
You can revisit your intention at any time throughout your practice, but be sure to come back to it at least once right at the end of your practice. In this way you will carry it with you.