Yoga – What is it that inspires you?

Remember the time when you started out with yoga or when you began to attend classes more regularly? Many of us would have approached the practice quite unknowingly, not expecting anything in particular. We were just happy to move, stretch, and strengthen our body, and to gain some of the related benefits yoga has to offer.

Then there might have come a point in time when you had an extraordinary experience during your Yoga practice. Your body may have felt better than it had in a long time or you might have experienced a particularly rich sense of calm and peace, or gained some deep insight into the practice and/or your life. It is often around this time that we develop an expectation from our yoga practice. This is when the mind experiences Raga – the desire for a pleasant experience once had, to be repeated.

After that, it is likely that you are starting to plateau in your yoga practice. The body might have been ready to continue to improve its abilities, but the mind might not have caught up just yet. Then it is not long before you find lots of other things to do at the time when you are usually attending a yoga class. That wonderful enthusiasm has lessened somewhat.

How do I stay inspired?

This is quite an individual experience. Most important is that you develop the discipline to do at least a little bit of yoga on a regular basis, rather than a lot once in a while.

For some, it works to sign up for a course, where a certain degree of commitment is expected of the self.

You might like to turn to some inspiring video clips in which someone is either practicing postures or talking about Yoga philosophy etc.

There are also some wonderful books related to Yoga or any other spiritual topic you find will spark your interest.

If you are more of a social type, mingle with like-minded people. It can be very inspiring to talk to some friends who are as in love with yoga as much as you generally are.

And then of course, the start of a new year is a great motivation to pick up the practice again :)

All in all, you need to find out what it is or was that inspired you to initially begin the Yoga practice, or attend regular Yoga classes. It might just work again for you.

Otherwise look for inspiration in furthering your understanding of Yoga by joining some lectures or a workshop, which explore the Yoga practice from different angles.

Someone once said, “… you’ll never get bored when being focused on the breath continuously.”

When my mind is wondering, and I am not feeling particularly motivated to practice, I discipline my mind to focus on every inhalation and every exhalation I’m taking. The bandhas are also an excellent tool for this.

The enthusiasm is always rising from within, so look deeply within!

The juice and sweetness in the practice lies in being fully absorbed by the breath and the movement linked to it.

Come and practice,

OM Shanti,
Angelika