Yoga Mail

By Dr. Chandra Nanthakumar

Generally, individuals feel empowered when there is a greater sense of motivation and overall positivity in them. Due to this good feeling, the day usually gets by smoothly not only in the home front but also at work. When individuals are motivated, the aspiration to conduct themselves well is ineffable.

Those who are enthused to excel in their studies will continue to seek knowledge and spend invaluable time reading diligently instead of wasting time on unnecessary chatter. Those who are inspired by great saints like Mother Theresa will go all out to lend a hand in helping and nurturing the needy. Those who are motivated by a healthy lifestyle will surely go the extra mile to watch their diet and exercises regularly. This is because the mind has been programmed to carry out these disciplines on a routine, and so the body naturally carries out the functions. The routine may appear mundane to some, but depending on the task or function carried out, one may be able to benefit tremendously from it.

While it is great to know that there are a lot of people spending a lot of time doing charity work, studying really hard for success or working conscientiously to climb up the ladder in rank and file, the body and mind should not be ignored. Many in the pursuit of success tend to overlook the needs of the body and mind. Unfortunately, in today’s society, the motivation to pay heed to health is almost absent amongst many from all walks of life. If this issue goes unnoticed, discomfort followed by diseases will start to set in one by one.

I see MOTIVATION as an acronym for the following:

Meditating On The Insights Vividly And Troubles (are) Intrinsically Overpowered Naturally.

Hence, one could learn to meditate and allow feelings of motivation to naturally set in. The practice of meditation is one of the many aspects of yoga, and research has shown that regular practice of yoga is sufficiently powerful to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety (Jager, 2017). Simple mindfulness meditation practice helps the practitioner identify his emotions and let them go. Through the practice of meditation, one is motivated to appreciate the given moment and get the best out of it.

Motivation and meditation go hand in hand

The practice of yoga has the ability to energise the body and mind, hence it motivates the practitioner to be consistent with the practice (Ross & Thomas, 2010). Whenever one feels demotivated, the remedy is to practice yoga and experience an immediate boost in the energy level. The practice includes amongst other things, asanas (postures), pranayama (expansion of the life force), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). Doing a couple of asanas followed by a simple practice of pranayama are the preparatory stages to meditation. It is essential that the body and mind are prepared for the practice; only then one will be able to reap its full benefits.

As easy as it sounds, yoga practices can be quite challenging. For example, in the asana practice, it can be quite a challenge to stand on one leg and stay balanced in the Dance Pose (Nataraja Asana), but if the practitioner is committed and motivated, he will delve deeper into the practice. On the other hand, if the practitioner is not focused, the mind will wander and he may end up injuring himself.

The shoulder stand is another good example to practice perseverance. It is challenging to keep the body in an upright position in the beginning, however, with consistent practice and motivation, the body gets used to the inverted position. A change in the body structure and an increase in limb strength will definitely motivate the practitioner to keep the momentum going. He will be motivated to practice every day upon realising the positive changes that are taking place in the body and mind. Likewise, practicing meditation requires effort. It can be quite a daunting task to remain seated in a still position for a couple of minutes; nevertheless, with consistent practice, one can only experience unremitting progress in the emotional health of the body and mind (Prajnanananda, 2009). While one has to be motivated to practice meditation, the practice of meditation in itself instills motivation in the practitioner.

In life, nothing can be taken for granted, and that is what yoga teaches you. Yoga teaches one to relish and respect the journey towards the results. Because one is in dire need of seeing the outcome of the practice, he will be motivated to continue with the practice. Another reason why one should be motivated to practice yoga is that it boosts one’s personal growth.

During the practice of yoga, one is not only mindful of his own emotions, but also of others. This discipline demonstrates that everything people do not only affect the environment but also themselves. For example, if a person wants to make progress in his job, he has to take small steps towards achieving his goals while being mindful of the surrounding, which consist of people and their feelings.

As I see it, motivation and meditation go hand in hand. Without motivation, one will not meditate; without meditating, it is quite a challenge to be motivated in life.


  1. Jager, T. (2017). Change your life with the motivational power of yoga. Retrieved from
  2. Prajnanananda, P. (2009). Yoga: Pathway to the divine (3rd ed.), Vienna, Austria: Prajna Publication.
  3. Ross, A. & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: A review of comparison studies. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 3-12.