I have been looking for my motivation lately with cats and dogs? Feels like I have a spine of a gummy bear, and I’m not talking about my backbends. Arghh!
This story is about finding the motivation.
I have been sick for past few weeks, with a horrible virus. I’ve tried every possible natural remedy. Fifty cups of ginger tea per day, running around the house with my Tibetan bells and healing incense sticks, vodka socks (something that stuck with me from my childhood in Soviet Union), but nothing. This was a duff bugger…
One morning when I was teaching my class I nearly fainted, that’s how bad I was… And I had to go to western doctor, to get western antibiotics. I hated it. My body feels so dirty afterwards.
Anyway, I couldn’t practise yoga for awhile and having a pause in my practice killed my motivation. It’s hard to get back on saddle and it’s so easy to get stuck on a sofa like a drunken wombat.
First thing with finding the motivation is to know what motivates us. What’s the thing that gets our asses of the sofa?
I guess my biggest motivation is that yoga literally saved my life, so I have all my faith in it.
Long time ago I was really sick ( and yes, I am healthy sometimes in between my sicknesses)… I had a really bad post-phnemonia-epileptic-burst-outs, that lasted for half a year. I went to doctors around the country and no one could help me. Finally I found a doctor who was specified in tropical diseases and he told me that two out of the five antibiotics injected to my veins in Indonesian hospital were illegal in Europe, because of their side effects on nervous system. No shit… and No cure. Well, not much choice than to continue the twitching… My twitching ended when I found a great yoga teacher in Perth, she teaches at a Hindu temple. I could literally feel yoga healing me and the toxins leaving my body. Day by day I was feeling healthier and I noticed that I could finally go to bed without fearing if I wake up in a morning.
After that I have been spreading the word of yoga loyally.
There will be days, when I cannot wait to get on my mat. And there will be days, that I would do anything else than practise. I might be to tired, stressed or lacking the motivation. But I have noticed, that the days I’m avoiding my yoga mat, are the days, that I need the practise the most!
I guess my main motivator is being healthy. Physically and mentally, happy, calm and smiley ( mind the occasional collapses)… Also mastering that wicked handstand or arm balance and having that after class euphoria gets me going.
I hate to disappoint you guys, but there is also a shallow reason.
And that’s all about looking good… A boost for confidence. There’s no need to be shamed of taking care of your body, as your body is your temple.
My little tricks to motivate myself:
One of my favourite style is the “psycho torture” or visual motivators:
Having pictures of great yogis in some wicked poses around, maybe on a screensaver or on a phone cover. Checking videos of my favourite yogis from YouTube works wonders. Having an altar or a personal yoga space. Reminders…
Silly, yet a great motivator can also be self-bribery. Make a list of rewards for two month, and at the end of each week, if you done your exercises, bribe yourself. For example, if on week one you go to yoga for five days, you permit yourself to get those super hot high heels. Of coarse there is no better reward than the inner reward, when week by week, we feel healthier and look better and fitter. But I know what you think, “inner reward” blah blah… what’s hotter, than those smoking stilettos with my gorgeous yoga calves. After sometime you’ll see that you don’t need no bribery, your hot body and balanced mind are way greater gifts, than anything you can get from shops…
Another great way of getting yourself going, is not to look for any motivations at all. Just get up and go!
Sometimes when you start to look for motivations, and overthinking it, you’ll only end up with excuses like:”But the Sons of Anarchy is on and what if I don’t make it back from yoga to see what happens to Jax…” or “It’s too far/too cold/ too this and too that”… Excuses, excuses…
Think of that “after class” euphoria and how good you feel. I bet you’re not feeling sorry you went on and pushed yourself.
Also, let go of that “all or nothing”-attitude! Promise yourself that you only practise for 15 minutes, and you might feel so fired up after a little warm up, that you go all the way. Something is always better than nothing!
I really pushed myself yesterday. I have had a torn ligament in my wrist for past 4 months, and finally I had enough, I thought to myself that it is time to get back to those crazy arm balances and handstands. So I participated in a morning class for yoga gurus, a class that was dedicated to handstands and arm balances. Well, I’ve always thought that I’m pretty ok with my moves, but hell no. I was looking around in a shock, while my fellow yogis were doing one handed handstands… I love situation like that. What a booster!
As for most people, these moments are devastating. Everyone wants to be the best and often we like to rely on the failure of others to feel successful. But the secret is: Stop Comparing! Take the philosophy of inversions, Have a different kind of a view. These super yogis are there to inspire and motivate us! They aren’t some mytological beings, from planet spaghetti, they are just humans and they use to be beginners too. And with a little determined practise, in a couple of months, you’ll be as good as they are! Let their persistence encouraged you to get stronger and eat better and exercise more often…
I keep hearing these funny complaints from people, who I hope to get to join yoga classes, but who might slightly lack motivation…
Often I hear the statement “yoga isn’t my thing!”
Let’s start with the question, what is yoga? It’s breathing, it’s connecting your body and mind, taking care of yourself and caring for others. Exactly, what in “yoga” isn’t your thing? Breathing?
Often I hear people complaining, that they are not flexible enough… Rubbish! That is the reason why you practise yoga, to gain flexibility.
Some people say, that yoga is just some weird streches and doesn’t grow any muscles… Ok, wrong again!!! Have you tried Ashtanga yoga or seen those sculpted yoga bodies? It’s not necessarily rugby, but do you even realise how many push ups you do during a proper series..? I had a 70 year old man next to me on my morning yoga class today, and his body was like a creek statue, one could study anatomy from it…
Some say, that yoga is just this ridiculous hippie-thing and some say yoga’s a featherbrained new-age religion…
First of all, Which hippies might they mean? The mums, that want to dedicate a hour to their selves per week, or that ex body builder, who tries to heal those torn muscles, or maybe that tattooed bikey, or every possible celebrity in Hollywood..? Hmmm. Nearly half a billion people are practising yoga world wide, so we better run, cause these hippies are going to attack us with downward facing dogs and bongs!
And what comes to the religious side of yoga… Yes, yoga started from India thousands of years ago, and is linked with Hinduism more than Christianity… But it’s still just a way of life, it’s a mental and physical practise, dedicated to create the union between body, mind and spirit.
And so what, if you happen to feel bit more connected or stress free after the class, is it really that bad?
Starting yoga isn’t easy for anybody, nobody’s perfect, everybody hurts at some point or at some pose and it’s a life long journey. But the time goes by, and you will notice that you love it, you yearn your practise, and most importantly you feel absolutely Awesome!
So that was my little story about the motivation.
Whatever your trigger is, let it be your fuel to get you going. Love yourself, love your body and love your mind!