Master Baptiste Yoga teacher Leah Cullis, who will lead Yoga Journal's upcoming online course Pillars of Power Yoga (sign up here to be the first to know when this fitness- and focus-boosting course launches), presents 8 poses to help you set your focus for the year ahead.
Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I like to set my intention for the coming year. Setting an intention is like throwing out your energetic aim or clarifying your focus both on and off the mat. Take off the pressure of making something happen, and instead use your intention as your Northern Star, gently lighting your path and guiding your way. When you start to wander, look up to your higher intention and integrate purpose into your next step.
Your yoga practice can be a vehicle for realizing your intention. The poses are containers for energy, so when you set an intention at the start of your practice, each posture becomes an opportunity to align with and bring to life what is most important to you. When you infuse your intention into each breath, every breath becomes an opportunity to purposefully move your life in the direction you want it to go.
The following 8 poses will support you in harnessing your energy to fuel your intentions. You can practice them together as one sequence (remember to do both sides) or add these poses individually into your practice to awaken the energy of your intentions. I recommend starting with 3–5 rounds of Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B.