Fri 08th January 2021

2021: Something Easy and Manageable: Setting Intentions for your Movement Practice

Ah, ‘tis January and time for all those marvellous New Year resolutions and good intentions. And here is a blog all about setting intentions. Yawn. How uninspired. Gimme a break. I’ve totes got enough going on to stay sane right now. See ya…

But please read on. I’m not preaching or aiming to patronise. It’s an easy one!

Often when I sit down to write a blog, I google some quotes to start me off, to inspire me to stay focused on the topic in hand as I am prone to some meander and waffle. When you google ‘intentions’, I was however surprised to find some rather damming and demoralising remarks about the flakiness of them compared to actual hardcore action…how very dare they think I won’t stick to them? Time for a blog rethink…?

No. I knew that, as it is January and already a bit of an odd start (thought what would have been a normal one now?), I wanted to write about intentions. This was inspired by a Wellbeing and Franklin Ball workshop I did just before Christmas with a very well-regarded Californian Pilates teacher called Tom Cook. He started our session with the usual body scan to focus the mind and then asked us to set our intention for our movement practise. It was one of those moments when some people (me) are cast back into the past (cue those wiggly flashback lines on the telly) into a classroom and I’m being asked a question that might be a trick question? Is it a guess the teacher question? Can silver fox Tom McCook see into my mind all the way from sunny San Francisco and tell me I’ve got the answer wrong? Goodness, I’m still such a teacher pleaser after all this time, sigh. I stalled…well surely, it’s to move Tom? To learn Tom? To move well Tom? To learn lots for my clients oh so chisel jawed-Tom?  There is a pause and I realise he is giving us some time. And then perhaps from through the Zoom and 8 hour time difference his crystal blue eyes see the whites of my eyes and he gently offers some suggestions.

Is it to simply move and feel good?

Is it to stretch a bit more?

Is it to have a moment to yourself?

Is it to challenge your concentration span?

Is it to try and switch off and be in the moment?

Is it to challenge how your body can move today?

Is it to simply discover how your body feels after your movement today?


Phew…that sounds nice and manageable. And quite me-centred. Is that ok?

Yes, it is. And what a good idea.

Ever driven/walked to work/the supermarket and arrived and not been able to recall a single part of the journey? Ever ended a Pilates session and not sure where the time went but you’ve sorted your shopping list in your head?  Surely setting out with at least some thought to an intention is both sensible and safe.

But back to google and this mildly condescending collection of quotes about intentions versus Real Action, and once again Pilates hits the jackpot! ‘Tis both in one! You set your intention and immediately act on it. Marvellous.

So, this January whether on the Zoom or with our VitaVids, take a moment to set your intention just for the hour, or even one exercise. See sparkling Tom’s suggestions above. It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. This will help to focus your mind, improve your movement experience and by acting upon it straight away, fill you with an enormous sense of accomplishment. Easy.