Motivation, Inspiration and Integration on the Mat

10 11 2009


So you started a yoga practice  all gun ho and it was exhilarating and all that you hoped it would be.


You got the heavy weight and heavy tagged yoga mat, and couldn’t wait to get it all broken into so you wouldn’t slip during those long 5 breath downward dogs.


You ran out an bought 3 pairs of everything in Lululemon because, it just fits your cute butt so well.  You even let the sales girl convince you that a matching yoga tote would really be useful to haul that ginormous mat around town.  You purchased the the 90 class card pass because it was as the girl said ” the best value if your planning to really be committed to your practice”.


Then the days, weeks and months passed and life’s inconveniences and often interruptions led you astray.  The mat sits in the closet next to the cute bag it supposed to be carried in.  You find you have “so much to do” and “no time to do it” and yoga gets put aside. You convince yourself  “I’m just too tired and I don’t have the energy”.


We’ve all been there.  Even the die hard Yogi’s who have practiced for decades.  We encounter a slump, or a life crisis such as a death or divorce and our connection to Inner Self gets shunted.  Sometimes its very healthy and appropriate to take some time off, rest and reintegrate ourselves and energies. Its actually one of the best ways to prevent burn out.

garbha pindasana


But when you find your practice has taken too many “sick days” because you just have been uninspired, or unmotivated then you need to refresh your experience on the mat.  Our healing and growth is always a process. We are dynamic and as energetic beings we shift and transition as much as we allow ourselves to.  So you need to become aware of what it is you need in your practice each time you come to the mat.


Every single time I practice its a different experience.  I may do the same poses, with the same teacher or on my own. But each time I practice according to my needs that particular day.  What does this mean? I practice with the guidance of my INTUITION.

Woman practicing yoga at sunrise

I take note of the following and use these elements to guide my practice:


1) My energy levels: Have I gone vigourously my last few practices and need more of a gentle or slower paced practice today?  Or will a more vigourous practice today give me a boost in energy, because even though I have had a long day, I need the heat of an ashtanga practice to encourage the stagnation to move within my body?


2) How am I feeling emotionally and spiritually? – has it been a super awesome, rockin’ high sales and quota busting day at the office?  Or do I feel some emotional stress do to personal family matters?  CHECK IN with yourself everyday. Get in touch with whats going on inside.  Then use your practice to go even deeper within to come to the awareness of what you need to release, and to find resolutions and acceptance of what is. Use your practice to ask your HIGHER SELF what is needed for you at the moment to become connected and out of the rut.


You will find doing just these two things everyday and before every practice will give you a better awareness of what you need.  You will benefit from checking in because you are sending messages of RESPECT and acknowledgment to that greater part of you that directly guides and supports you. This builds SELF TRUST and releases doubt and fear from interfering with your greater intentions.



So what can we do to stay motivated?  With every exercise program there is the possibility of boredom, getting burnt out and just lose the initial interest we had when we started.  Here is what has helped me stay and enjoy the mat more and more each practice.


1) Consider practicing a different style of Yoga.

If you are an avid Ashtanga freak, why not try a KUNDALINI class once a week?  We learn from all experiences in life.  All practices come with benefits.  Its the INTENTION you bring forth to the mat that determines the outcomes. You may just learn another aspect of this VAST philosophy we call yoga, that may reveal something you haven’t yet discovered in your usual style.


2) Remind yourself  what BENEFITS yoga has brought to your life:

So WHY did you come to Yoga in the first place?  WRITE about it.  Go inwards and reflect on what you have already taken and integrated from your yoga practice.  Meditate on the feeling of presence, and stillness. The joyous feeling this gives you should remind you of what Yoga offers you every moment you become aware and practice.



We often can caught up in ALIGNMENT, and how this foot should be angled, and that how leg should be spiraling inwards. I’m not saying alignment is unnecessary.  Loosen the hold on all the shoulds, and practice with INTUITION.  Focus on FEELING THE BREATH,  moving through the pose, or accepting the STILLNESS of the moment.  I find myself at times frustrated with a pose I can’t quite find ease in.  When I let go and feel my practice with awareness, the body follows and the resistance loosens and all those challenging poses become friendlier.

Patthabi jois guruji


If you have not tried this type of class, I would highly recommend you find one.    The name Mysore comes from the city in India where Ashtanga yoga guru Shri K. Pattabhi Jois lives and teaches. It is a self led class, whereby you practice being led by your own intuition and needs, and not directly by a teacher.  This is such an EFFECTIVE way to evolve your practice.  You will learn so much just by listening to your own guidance and a teacher is always around to adjust you and offer any help you may need. You can concentrate on one or several aspects of your practice each time.

Wishing you happy travels on your mat and beyond.


~Travelling Yogi~




One response

10 11 2009

The old lady at the top of the blog, wow, what energy and inner strength as well as outer strength she must have. Good for her and 10 points for yoga. Definitely Namaste!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: