Inspiring Yoga Experiences – Personal & Inspirational Success Stories


Research is a vital tool in helping to express the power of yoga, but research into clinical studies is just one part of the picture. When we dig into the heart of what’s being studied, we find beautiful personal stories that offer rich and inspiring detail.

Here we’ve gathered samples to make it easy for you to find such stories, and to share them with your students.

67-Year Old Transforms Her Life with Yoga

This 6-min video is so moving! It features a woman who had gradually lost mobility to the point of believing it couldn’t get better and losing her will to live. Her loving son sent her an inspiring yoga video and with his daily support, she took steps toward living life fully again. Within 10 months, she completely transformed her life into a joyful one.

Mission Be: Teaching Children Mindfulness

Mission Be provides mindfulness-based social emotional learning to help children thrive. They offer programs in schools, and they train educators to bring mindfulness practices into their classrooms.

Mission Be, a nonprofit organization that brings mindfulness into schools, was founded in 2013 by social worker and yoga instructor Carin Winter. Mission Be’s curriculum is based on evidence-based practices like breath, movement, visualizations, affirmations, sharing circles and silent seated meditation…  The mindfulness practices taught by Winter can, eventually, result in your being able to maintain a meditative state for most of the day, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. Play is a meditative state. The purpose of meditation is to get into a timeless moment where you’re not connected to time, where your mind is not focused on the past and the future. Time basically vanishes and you’re just in the present moment. Play automatically puts us in the present moment, which is the very definition of mindfulness. Playing is also fun, and it’s near-impossible to be stressed and have fun at the same time. In many cases, what children need the most is time to play; to get lost in the “now.” –

See more Mission Be videos here.

DDP Yoga Helps Man Reclaim Self-Love

This 10-min video is highly moving and inspiring. Ken’s beloved pet inspired him to try to heal his physical limitations. Yoga enabled him to overcome severe self-loathing and methodically reclaim self-love and physical vitality.

72-Year Old Doesn’t Accept Limitations as “Aging”

This 4-min video follows a 72-year old woman through her inspiring journey from increasing immobility to a complete turnaround in physical health, energy and happiness in less than a year.


Senior Teacher & Her Senior 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.

Disabled Veteran’s Life Transformation

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.

Matthew Sanford

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

Russell Brand offers his perspective in this  7-minute video entitled, “This is how yoga changed my life.”

Seane Corn

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.

Yoga Teacher in the Middle East

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.


An Inspiring Teacher

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

Former football player Frankie Spera inspires others with this 1-minute video including a difficult standing balance posture.

New Selfie: Coming Closer to the Self

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?


Yoga Became My Turning Point Toward Holistic Health and Healing  link

Childhood trauma is something that we may not think can affect us when we are no longer exposed to it — but often that is when the unraveling of how it has affected us begins…. [I had gone through] many years of several kinds of therapy [before] one of my many doctors recommended yoga which became my turning point toward holistic health and healing. No one ever connected any of my ailments to the abuses I witnessed and endured as a child. Still, through the practice of yoga, I discovered that my body is my most valuable asset and that just breathing consciously could be the first step to reconnecting with it.

Shatkarmas & Ayurveda Can Be of Critical Support  link

As I was beginning my journey into yoga and meditation I twice attended Vipassana meditation retreats. Each was ten days of silent immersion into the practice of meditation… [including] awareness of the flow of the breath at the tip of the nostril… As I could not breathe in or out of my nose, this was a struggle, of both body and spirit. It wasn’t until I began my deeper Hatha yoga studies that I was trained in the “shatkarmas”— the six Hatha yoga methods of purifying the body with the intent to free it of disease — and yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. Enter “jala neti”— the practice that changed my life forever. In this simple practice, we wash the sinus cavities with warm salient water, in through one nostril and out through the other. It wasn’t easy at first and took some time before I could successfully create the flow to unblock and reduce the inflammation that plagued my sinuses every day of my life. I dedicated myself to the practice of neti daily—religiously—morning and night, for a full year, without ceasing, transforming every breath I take in this precious life I am living. For years now, I have breathed freely — through my nose — the chronic state of infection permanently washed away… Not a day, or night goes by that I do not marvel and celebrate my ability to breathe through my nose with ease.

Mom’s Cancer Battle Inspires 14-Yr-Old To Become Youngest Yoga Instructor In US. link

Tabay Atkins of San Clemente, California, has worked hard to be there for his single mom, Sahel Anvarinejad. When she lost her hair battling stage 3 cancer in 2012, the 6-year-old shaved his head to match her. And when she was declared cancer-free a few months later, she inspired him to take up a unique activity that changed both their lives! So, at just 10 years old, Tabay began the same intensive instructor program. After thriving there, he became the youngest certified yoga instructor in the U.S. (and one of the youngest in the world) and went on to receive seven more specialized certifications.

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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