This month I was able to attend Intention Setting Yoga and Rock Painting with Bayside Institute. I admittedly walked into the class with my head in my phone thinking about a lot of things at once, and although I was there physically, my mind was certainly not in the present. However, I committed to the two hours and was excited to see what this class was all about!

The class was led by instructor Laura Michnya, owner of Blue Tail Yoga, and started with meditation before our yoga practice, which was a perfect way to slowly let my mind escape the chaos for a few breaths, and focus on the present. During meditation, Laura asked that we choose a word to focus on for the rest of the class. The word had to be our intention, and something that connected us to our life force, our prana. I thought this would be easy as I set intentions all the time in my life, especially around the new year. My usual intentions are to work out more, eat healthier, be more organized, be a present mother and wife, and overall try to improve some of my daily tasks. However, Laura explained that often we can get our intentions confused with “goals.” Intentions are meant to drive us through life, and connect us with our heart, not a task. We can often get caught up in life’s daily minutiae, and forget our true intention, so part two of the class focused on painting that particular word on a rock. My mind kept leading me back to love as an intention, to focus on love amidst the chaos of life and to cherish the love that I receive.

The meditation was extremely relaxing, and focusing in on my intention of love cleared my head to be more in the present. After yoga, we selected our rocks, paint colors and tools for the second part of the class. Laura had provided samples of painted rocks to give us inspiration. One part I particularly enjoyed about the rock painting was that we used tools like pencils, dowels, and paint brushes to make dots in our artwork. Creating the dots was somewhat therapeutic, and I enjoyed the creative aspect of using the natural rock as a canvas. After I left the class I felt rejuvenated, refreshed, and I especially love that I have a piece of the class to take with me when I need that daily reminder.

Erika Cook lives in Ocean City, MD with her husband, two children, and dog named Bay (appropriately named after the water, but also terrified of the water). In her free time she enjoys the beach, tennis and weekend adventures with her family!

To learn more about Bayside Institute and class offerings at Bayside in Fenwick Island, DE, visit