Research on the impact of yoga is extensive and powerful. Please see Research on the Impact of Yoga for wonderfully succinct synopses of many studies that document the impact of yoga.
Research results may be a vital tool in helping to express the power of yoga, but when we explore the heart of the findings, we find beautiful personal stories that offer rich and inspiring detail.
Here we’ve gathered samples to make it easy for you to find inspiring stories, and to share them with your students.
This 3-minute video features Janet Rae Humphrey, a teacher who took up yoga at age 58 with many physical and health issues. She became a teacher at age 66 and at 67 is in the “best physical and mental shape of my life.” The video features a few of her senior students, who are inspirational as well.
This 5-minute video shows the amazing transformation in one man who lost 140 pounds, learned to walk without a cane and became incredibly physically capable.
Enjoy the amazing inspiration from yoga teacher and spinal cord injury survivor, Matthew Sanford. His very moving and powerful personal story includes the impact of listening to what medical professionals called “phantom” sensations. He teaches that trauma disconnects the mind from the body, thus learning to listen and to experience these “subtle sensations” is key to his and his students’ lives. While this video is 28 minutes, any amount you watch is inspirational.
Russell Brand offers his perspective in this 7-minute video entitled, “This is how yoga changed my life.”
In this 14-minute video, Seane Corn shares her very personal story of how yoga impacted her life including its affect on her alcohol and drug use, through the evolution of her practice and beginnings as a teacher in training, especially the terror and inadequacy she experienced in yoga teacher training. The intense story of what happened as she taught her first pose is a moment teachers will surely appreciate.
After experiencing Give Back Yoga Foundation’s Mindful Yoga Therapy Training, this 25-year-old Palestinian yoga teacher in the Middle East shares how inspired he is in his own practice and in bringing forth the teachings as a healing for all.
This 6-minute video shares some of Mary-Jo Fetterly’s inspirational path as a yoga teacher and mother who experienced a spinal cord injury.
Former football player Frankie Spera inspires others with this 1-minute video including a difficult standing balance posture.
While the hashtag noted in the following quote was not in active use at last check, we still find this concept inspirational and thought you might too:
What Do Stunning Images of Flexibility Teach Us About Yoga?
While some yoga images may inspire (or intend to inspire), many practitioners are left feeling alienated by the flashy displays of physical prowess on our pages and screens. #realyogaselfie is a platform for educating ourselves, yoga beginners, yoga teachers and future teachers about the benefits of yoga and empowering practitioners with a realistic vision of the diversity, adaptability and uniqueness possible in personal practice. Showcasing a flexible woman in Hanumanasana on a log at the beach might make for a stunning image, but what does it teach us about yoga? About ourselves? This project’s aim is to expand our understanding of the word “selfie” to mean anything in yoga practice that brings one closer to the Self. – Caitlin Casella, What Is The #realyogaselfie Project?
Southern California’s Most In-Demand Yoga Teacher is 11 Years Old link
Tabay began taking yoga classes as a 6-year-old while his mother, Sahel Anvarinejad, began doing her certification as she was recovering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Tabay would frequently attend the trainings with her and instantly loved it… He said, ‘Mom I want to do this too. I want to teach people so yoga can help them the way that yoga helped you.’
Yoga in Jails Helps Male Prisoners Become Better Dads link
Researchers found that yoga paired with a parenting program helped the inmates accept a sense of vulnerability and responsiveness to children.
I’m in Teacher Training – At Age 62! link
The universe knows that the soul is ageless and we have much to learn, no matter how many years we have behind us or in front of us. As long as there’s a positive spirit, you can’t go wrong. And like the river that runs near my home, I notice its age doesn’t matter to enjoy what it has to offer. Everyone lingers on the beautiful banks. Everyone.
How an On-Air Panic Attack Led Thousands of People to Meditation link
I realized all sorts of people were dealing with the same underlying issue that I had been battling for years: the voice in the head. I’m talking about the incessant inner narrator we all have. It’s the voice that chases you out of bed in the morning and yammers at you all day long. It frequently has us judging other people and being ruthlessly self-critical. For me, the voice in my head was largely about ambition.
When He Says Yoga Saved His Life, He’s Not Exaggerating link
Yes, it’s a cliche: ‘Yoga saved my life.’ Google the phrase, and you’ll get 12 million matches! But when Walter Mugbe says it, he really means it. It’s not an exaggeration. It’s the truth.
A Pro Bowl Linebacker is now a Nationally Known Yoga Teacher link
Mitchell focuses much of his current practice on helping fellow athletes and military veterans heal the physical and mental rigors of their past experiences.
This 100-Year-Old Yogi Tried Her First Yoga Class at Age 67 and She’s an Inspiration! link
It has really changed my life and has helped cure aches and pains. I used to have trouble from a slipped disc in my back but doing yoga really helped me cope with it.
Meet Muriel, My 90 Year Old Yoga Teacher link
Throughout my years of study with her, I learned that Muriel had contracted polio when she was a young girl. She was confined to an iron bed for one year in an effort to ‘maintain her spine’ while she was recovering… Polio did leave Muriel with some scoliosis, weakened lungs, and a weak and somewhat withered right leg.
A New Twist on Aging Gracefully: Meet the 96-year-old Yogi link
Tao Porchon Lynch, a 96-year-old ball of energy, has been practicing yoga for more than 70 years and is still going strong in Westchester. Lynch has taught yoga for 56 years.
Astros Find Utilizing Yoga Beneficial link
‘It helps with mobility, it helps with core stability,’ Astros strength and conditioning coach Jake Beiting said. ‘And then secondarily, I think it’s a really good mental benefit when you look at being able to teach yourself to keep your body relaxed … kind of keeping your mind in the moment.’ Matt Repplinger, a Denver-based baseball yoga consultant: ‘I’d say that 60 percent of the teams have someone working with them now. From the Mets, to the Phillies, from the Dodgers to the Rockies, they have got either a full-time or a part-time instructor.’
Huskers Players Embrace Yoga as Part of New Training link
We want to improve their overall quality of life from stress — not just the demands of being a football player but being a student. There’s a huge injury-preventing component to it as well. We’re trying to work on our soft-tissue elasticity, increase our coping abilities.
The Real Unphotoshopped Me: Liz Arch Photographed by Robert Sturman link
Includes an essay appreciating the flaws and realness of an “unphotoshopped” body. You may find this inspirational for yourself and/or something to share with students.
Vets Turn to Yoga and Meditation for Healing link
Ben King served in the Iraq War as a Psychological Operations Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He founded Armor Down, a forum for alternative healing for veterans, after he came home and was struggling with sleepless nights. He said the Army taught him how to ‘up armor my mind and body for war.’ Once home, ‘I taught myself how to armor down to thrive as a civilian.’
Yoga: How We Serve Incarcerated Veterans link
Between what I saw and experienced taking care of the wounded in Iraq, and being a victim of sexual assault while in active duty, I had been having terrible anxiety and panic attacks. I was always a long-distance runner but I needed something more. So I checked out a few yoga classes…
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