Formulating your intention

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Yoga Nidra serves as a potent tool for reprogramming your brain. If you do it correctly, it can accelerate your inner or spiritual growth. It allows you to cultivate good habits and attitudes. First consider which specific habit or attitude you really want to replace with a more positive habit or attitude. This phase is called formulating your intention. Take your time to consider what you want to change about yourself.

Phrase your chosen intention in the following way: I will become more this or that. This wording affirms your life's future trajectory by enlisting the unconscious mind. Worthy intentions may be to become more patient, more tolerant, or more loving. We recommend that whatever intention you choose doesn't contradict any of Yoga's high moral virtues, which we discuss in Chapter 20. Also, make your intention realistic and specific. An intention like "I will become enlightened" is specific enough but perhaps not very realistic. By contrast, an intention like "I will become a better person" is too vague. A better intention is something more along the lines of "I will become more relaxed within myself," "I will become more tolerant toward others," or "I will become more patient." You want your intention to be something you can stick with until you realize it in your life rather than one you have to abandon because it was too lofty or undefined.

When formulating your intention, try to evoke the corresponding feeling inside you so you know what it feels like to be loving, patient, forgiving, or whatever.

After you set an intention, you formally apply it during the actual Yoga Nidra exercise (described in the following section) by repeating it when prompted.

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