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Yoga Intention: Slow Flow

by Marianne Navada

Some yoga teachers set an intention before starting a yoga class. Intentions foster a collective theme, but it can also let you personalize a group practice. Intentions can be abstract or specific. In this article, we’ll explore slowing down as an intention.

Why Slow Down?

If you always find yourself rushing, physically or mentally, use your yoga time to train the mind and body to slow down.

Slow and Aware

Moving slowly and with awareness takes control and patience. A slow flow not only builds patience, but strength and flexibility.

  • Control the breath: take deeper and longer breaths.
  • Hold poses longer: take the time to settle into the pose. Find the line between opening the body and being kind to it. Breathe into areas of tightness when you hold.
  • Rethink your entries: It’s easy to get comfortable entering a pose a certain way, especially after you have been doing yoga for a while. When the teacher says Warrior II, think and move with your breath. Maybe play with straightening the leg first before entering the pose or taking the hands overhead and then brining them parallel to the mat.
  • Take pauses in between poses.

Slow Flow Inspiration

A slow flow from Kayla Nielsen

Cues and Music

This cue can be done in an easy-seated pose or savasana. 

With our busy lives, it’s easy to let today slip by, and the next day, then the next. By making it your intention to slow down, you’re telling yourself to pause and check in with yourself, free of distractions. This is your moment, to see how you’re doing.

Close your eyes, and maybe feel the air around you and how it touches your skin, notice any sound that you hear. Observe your surroundings without judgement. Now start looking inward by listening to your body. How does the neck and shoulders feel, the back, the hands, legs, and feet. Are you holding tension on you face? Maybe give yourself a smile and a thank you for showing up to your mat.

Press the palms together, rub the palms, feeling your skin.

Place the palms over the eyes gently. Observe how that feels and if you want to start rubbing the temples with the thumbs go ahead

Do you still have the smile on your face?

Pay attention to how the chest rises and falls with each breath.

Start with a 3 count inhale and a 3 count exhale and start lengthening the breath. Feel the body relax and focus the mind on one thing, and that’s making each breath as rich and deep as you can. Feel yourself taking control of your breath, lengthening the inhales and exhales.

Commit to living.