How’s day 4 going? Are your thighs burning and your mind clear yet?

I had a great home practice yesterday morning doing this podcast on my living room floor. It was incredibly slow and intense and made me remember all the reasons why I love this healing practice so much. You could be having the most stressful crazy day ever, but the second you get on your mat in child’s pose, it’s like you have a clean slate. Lately, I’ve been rushing through my practice, flowing quickly from one warrior to the next and pushing myself to my limits every time. But yesterday, I really let myself sink into the poses, pause and breathe. And guess what? It hurt. A lot. I was way more sore doing that than rushing through my asana just trying to “get it done”.

After practice, when I lay drowning in a pool of my own sweat with Dexter sitting on the edge of my mat, I thought just how much yoga teaches us about life. Sure, you could rush through your days flowing from one activity to the next just to get it done, or you could really slow down and do everything with intention. Maybe all you could be doing that day is taking care of your three year old and running errands, but if you really focus on each individual activity at hand and give it your all, you’ll be getting a lot more out of your day than if you quickly hurry through it.

Today in your practice focus on intention. Are you a person that rushes from one thing to the next? Do you eat dinner standing up while catching up on your emails (hand raising high…again)? Take time to slow down and do every activity today with purpose and intention, whether that means writing a million office emails, making phone calls for work, cooking dinner or practicing your daily yoga.

I’m so proud of you for doing this challenge along with me! Every time I step on my mat I smile knowing you’re out there doing the same thing….

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  • Wendy
    August 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    That’s a great post. Thanks!

  • girl in the pink
    August 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I have been loving Dave Farmar’s podcasts, thanks for the recommendation!

  • Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots
    August 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Great post! Yoga is supposed to be something we enjoy, so why rush through it?

  • Ruth
    August 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Day 4. Woo hoo! Just got back from 1.5 hrs ashtanga primary series self practice class. Wasn’t really up for going to be honest, but forced myself to get out the door and I’m really thankful that I did. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted doing a practice, but I’ve sorely regretted not doing one….thanks for the buttkicking (in a good way) Jenna.

    • Baking N Books
      August 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      That’s awesome Ruth! 1.5 hours!? I die 🙂

  • katie @KatieDid
    August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Awesome post! I try to lead a simple life and have cut down a lot of unnecessary distractions. I have a much more clear mind and try to be present throughout the day. Yoga is a great reminder of how we should live our lives off the mat too.

  • Elyse
    August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Yes, I agree that this was a great post, Jenna. Yoga has changed my life in so many beautiful ways. Every day is a new opportunity to apply my yoga practice into every aspect of my life. No matter the physical practice, the practice of the peace of mind, control, mindfulness and non-attachment will always take time and be challenging.

  • Baking N Books
    August 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Beautiful. Exactly. We all have our own things. Some days I get down on myself for not “accomplishing” anything, but then I try to think of one thing that I did – like changing the bed sheets for clean ones! 😉 (It’s the little things). BUT – if I have intention and PRESENCE behind it – then it’s just another part of life. Not something to have to rush through to get to the next moment.

    I’ve only been doing random 10-min. segments so far, but did get to 1 class. I’ll probably only get 1 class a week in due to my schedule, but do what ya can.

  • Johanna B
    August 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    What a great post, Jenna!!! Intention. That’s the point of it all, isn’t it. Thanks for reminding me.

  • rachel @ the faded apron shared table
    August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    This is lovely. Thanks for the reminder…I really needed it today.

  • Sarah Elizabeth
    August 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Great post! Maybe this 21 days of yoga thing may be good for me… I think it’s great that you’re doing it! Keep us updated.

  • Wendi @ A Southern Yogi
    August 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I just wrote a post about my intention the other day! this is why I love yoga. My friend sent me a text message that said there is no imminent danger in the future, stick around and stay in the present. So true! Thanks for the post.

  • kelly
    August 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Beautiful post. Sadly, I have never done Yoga but recently joined a gym and hope to start. Once I learn the poses, I want to do it at home.

  • Lisa | Life in Green
    August 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I love a good slow flow! It’s crazy how hard it is to keep your mind set in that pose without wanting to hurry to the next.

    Love that your doing this!

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    August 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Eating while standing and reading emails…both my hands are raised high for that one. I am the worst at slowing down. Good reminders. Very good reminders.

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy
    August 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    It’s so true, slowing down the yoga practice can parallel other aspects of life we could all use some more intention. I did a yoga challenge last month and it was great that I made it a part of each day no matter what. If you make something a priority, the task at hand becomes infinitely easier. There was never a question of “do I have time for this?”.

  • ally@girlVFood
    August 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I love it. For the last two days I haven’t had time to podcast in between my running training but I have tried to live my yoga off the mat…situations that have tested my patience in the past weren’t so bad when you breathe through them. Pranayama is the bees knees. 😉

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    August 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Intention, mindfulness, not rushing through things, paying attention to the DETAILS and the small things of life…this is something I try to do, practice, and be aware of…daily. In all that I do.

    Sometimes and somethings I am more successful at than others, but yes, intention is huge.

    Namaste my friend 🙂

  • Ann
    August 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I have to confess I didn’t commit to the 21 days, which I totally should have, because there’s no reason I can’t do it. I did, however, do a yoga download podcast this morning, though, and was so happy I did. Clearing my mind and focusing on my intention (calm and health for me and my little bun in the oven) helped me calm down a bit and stop thinking of worst case scenarios as I tend to do.
    Thanks for the reminder, Jenna!

  • d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo
    August 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    This is a beautiful post. I am not participating in the 21 days – although I think it is a lovely thing…the timing just isn’t great for me right now. Maybe in a few weeks when the moving is all over I will start. But I was just thinking about how I was going to get all of these things done today, and I totally am forgetting intent and focus. I think everything will be much more enjoyable if I can take it in. Thank you!

  • Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy
    August 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I am one of those people that constantly rushes! I need to learn to slow down, great post!

  • Sara Gedde
    August 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    You are rad. Lovin this.

  • Tracie
    August 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    While I’m not participating in the challenge at the moment as I’m in the midst of half-marathon training, I really needed this post today. Thank you for sharing with us, Jenna.

  • kate
    August 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I definitely need to get in on that I love yoga and find it really makes a difference in my day!

  • Rachel
    August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I had such a hard time rolling out of bed for yoga today. Knowing that I was sharing a 21 day goal with others gave me the strength to continue. Thanks for challenging us!

  • Emily
    August 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I just tried one of Dave Farmar’s podcasts this morning. It was great, thanks for the recommendation!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Wow…this post hit waaaay to close to home. I have been feeling so overwhelmed by the fast pace of my life lately. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder. Lovely post Jenna.

  • Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance
    August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Gah– I do need to slow down. In Miami everything is so fast paced but this is totally NOT effective in the least.

    Thanks for this, Jenna

  • kaila @ healthy helper!
    August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Love this Jenna. Such a good reminder to really appreciate everyday and take in whats around you instead of just rushing through everything!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Wonderful post! I was going to skip my yoga today but this convinced me to squeeze some in after dinner! Better a shorter workout than nothing at all!

  • Liz
    August 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I didn’t feel like doing my yoga practice this morning; it’s my birthday and I wanted to sleep in, but then I realized what a great gift it would be to follow through on my intention to do yoga every day. And I did a short, gentle practice (I did a pretty hard class yesterday, and I’m sore!) and it was the best way to start the day.

  • Heidi @ The Balance Project
    August 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    This post was beautifully written. Thank-you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy the ride! : )

  • Karen
    August 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Beautifully said, and profound message. Thanks again for suggesting this yoga challenge and for your coaching, Jenna.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    August 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    This was a great positive, no guilt intended but guilty kick in the behind post. Does that make any sense?

  • Kim
    August 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Beautiful post, Jenna- so inspiring!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life
    August 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    So good. I found myself living for the weekends only to realize I was wishing away 5/7 of my life. What a waste! Live in every moment.

  • Sami
    August 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Loved this post! I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for about a month now (and have commited to the 21 day challenge!) and i love thats it’s able to slow the mind down and allow more focus not only in that moment but in life in general. Well said and very inspiring!

  • Julia
    August 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    My day 4 was an INCREDIBLE 75 minute hot yoga class. It was seriously one of the BEST I have taken in a long time! I smiled as I read this post because the instructor of my class was all about us setting an intention not just for the class, but for our life. Mine was to focus on my breathing and stay strong through everything. My little class intention has now carried out into my life and I bought a package of more classes at that fantastic studio. Why? All thanks to this wonderful 21 day yoga challenge and intention practice, I can’t enough of my time on the mat. Thanks, Jenna! 🙂

    • jenna
      August 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      that’s awesome, julia! I love classes like that!

  • Erin
    August 5, 2011 at 5:10 am

    I have never once commented Jenna but your yoga challenge is really resonating with me. I already had a fairly strong 3-4 days per week practice, but this little virtual challenge really pushed me to kick it up a notch (or several!). I belong to a Baptiste-inspired studio here in Cincinnati and just finished 5 straight days of very intense power classes. I am wiped, but at the same time, I’ve never felt better.

    What I really wanted to tell you, though, was that I firmly believe my dedication to a daily practice was fully responsible for me ROCKING my handstand this morning! I’m talking super solid, 10 full breaths kinda handstand! I had to make myself come back down. Despite the fact that it was 6 am and my shoulders felt like they were made of lead, I did the best handstand of. my. life. I know people probably think I’m nuts for being so giddy over a freaking handstand but it represents so much more.

    Here’s to 16 more days of joy, sweat, and bliss!

  • kankana
    August 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

    THANK YOU for sharing this link with me. I have to start doing some Yoga at home and slow down a lil bit 🙂 Very inspiring post!

  • grace b
    August 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    My life is probably the slowest it has been in a solid year so I was really psyched to try this yoga challenge!

    I’m so proud of myself for committing to it.

    Also I did one of the BEST Dave Farmar podcasts I’ve ever done today–LOVE him. His classes are always challenging (but with doable modifications) and interesting–plus he’s hilarious! I’m so jealous you got to meet him!

    I went out drinking last night and accidentally (I swear!) got drunk–so a good podcast this morning after some green/fruit juice was EXACTLY what I needed.

    Thanks again for suggesting the 21 day challenging–I can already see my biceps more clearly!

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    August 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    […] read a post Jenna recently wrote about Intention. It made me think about this […]

  • EllenE
    August 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This is so true. A few months ago, when I was in the midst of wedding planning/moving/starting a new job in a lab, I was still going to Bikram, and towards the end of a class I just let it all go emotionally… worn out, totally drenched on the mat, I just started crying. And I tried to hold it in, but there it was… it is great how yoga just helps you release stress and all the weird crap that is going on inside us, and just appreciate the present moment. This challenge has been great for me so far, thank you so much for posting about it!!