Finding a Little Yoga Inspiration

yogainspirationWith any physical discipline and practice like yoga, the most difficult part is staying motivated. To begin the endeavor takes one kind of motivation, and to sustain it takes another. If there is a lag in the practice, it becomes a challenge to begin again, just to take that step and continue in it. What makes that motivation a bit easier is inspiration.

Maybe the impetus to begin came at New Years. “I’m going to get in shape!” you said and chose to start yoga. And what happens when you start? It feels great! Conquering! Then maybe a few days later, that soreness kicks in, the flab is still there, the stamina hasn’t improved drastically (but it has improved), and that motivation just kind of dries up. Inspiration is what’s needed. The little voice in your head that moves you to get up. Get out. Unroll that mat. Move those muscles. Breathe.

Maybe you haven’t even begun yet and are curious about what yoga may have in store for you, and you need some inspiration just to get started. Everyone needs to start somewhere, sometime. How about right here, right now! Many of the yoga classes offered at Udemy are perfect for beginners and anyone willing to start sweating and getting fit. This class here is a great place to begin for general stress release and flexibility training, Yin Yoga.

But why do it? Why start on yoga? There are myriad other reasons besides a fit body and getting in shape. This infographic from Huffington Post illustrates that there are a lot of benefits listed for yoga that start from the time you just begin a class all the way up to years of practice. Things like lower stress and better flexibility right after class to lower blood pressure and better bone density after an extended practice. These are all attributed to yoga and these aren’t mere anecdotes. Based on many different studies sourced from places like UCLA and Boston University, these are conclusions grounded in scientific observation.

Sometimes, it is the mind that can get in the way. Instead of motivating, it’s filled with doubt. Maybe you want to clear your mind and connect with that expansive part of you within. The class Yoga As Meditation can guide you toward that mindful practice.

I stumbled across this video some time ago. Arthur Boorman is a veteran, told he would never walk again. He had sustained injuries during his service that had forced him to wear knee braces and use canes just to get around. He was depressed and gained a ton of weight and found out about yoga. He persevered even when folks didn’t give him a second chance. He overcame his own doubt and the doubt of others, including some yoga teachers! His transformation is amazing.

To finish off, here’s some inspirational quotes. Though these are not specifically about yoga, they’re taken from great thinkers, leaders, athletes and authors who have all overcome, persevered and know a bit about succeeding. No anonymous inspirations on pretty backgrounds here, just words in their simplicity to inspire yoga practice, to think about fitness, perseverance, and testing your limits.

On fitness:

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.

– Plato.

On inner strength:

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

– Gandhi

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

– Lieutenant General Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in history, who earned 5 Navy Crosses for acts of heroism in battle.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

– Bruce Lee, martial artist and actor

On perseverance:

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, scientist and author of The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust

Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.

— Albert Einstein, Nobel prize winner and theoretical physicist

I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.

– Michael Jordan, professional basketball great

I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”.

– Muhammad Ali, boxing champion and “Sportsman of the Century”

You shouldn’t chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past is left behind.
The future is as yet unreached.

– Buddha

If you’re inspired and convinced to either start taking yoga or to take yourself a bit higher, here are a couple more classes that are more in depth in nature, but also open to people willing to learn.

Yoga Poses Decoded is geared more for the nuts-and-bolts approach of fitness and strength training. This class was created with fitness professionals in mind, but is open to anyone.

The Journey Training is an in depth look at yoga and anatomy and how the different poses and motions work your body. Offered by well-known author and teacher Sadie Nardini, it’s a good way to strengthen your practice and depth of knowledge in yoga.