Our Luminaries are a huge inspiration to us and to the Inner Fire community. As an ever-growing beam of inspiration and light, we asked them how they ignite their lives; what are their daily practices that keep the fire burning? What big changes or decisions did they make that re-sparked their fire after it started to go out?
Inspiration is literally everywhere; finding it is only a matter of what our minds are open to. Like anyone else, I have days when I feel uninspired. They never last long, however, as I am blessed with four amazing children who inspire me with their every moves.
No matter where one lives, there is beauty and life all around. Regardless of one’s beliefs (or lack thereof), this world is amazing, scary, uplifting, heartbreaking, and breathtaking at every turn. Be inspired by the negative just as much as, if not more than, by the positive. Without mud, there is no lotus. Life is very rarely pretty or easy, much less perfect. Struggle is where strength and beauty are at their best.That is where you will always find inspiration.
There have been many times I felt as though my inner fire had been extinguished – I am sure we have all felt that way at some point. But only at that point can it be ignited once again. When murder, hate, wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes have us feeling hopeless – that is when you see people risking their lives to help a stranger, or a single flower standing in a burnt field, or someone's 15-year-old family dog climb up out of the ashes of a destroyed home. Only when the world is completely dark does one's inner fire become recognizable.
– Karly Lou Philips
What ignites my inner fire? Passion, persistence and being a part of an amazing community! Passion keeps me motivated from day to day – it is one of the reasons why I get up every morning to flow on my mat and why I want to keep learning more about yoga.
I had found yoga during a period where I felt lost as a person and the practice allowed me to find myself and continue to grow as an individual.
Persistence, I believe, is needed to pursue all passions. Yoga is not easy – but not allowing myself to give up (unless I am in pain) keeps me motivated to practice! There are manyasanas that I may be working on and I try to incorporate them into my practice each day. By not giving up so easily while attempting a pose that is difficult for me, it allows me to see growth not only in the pose, but in my practice as well.
Lastly, a huge part of motivation and inspiration for me is being a part of the uplifting yoga community on Instagram! There is inspiration found in each yogi through their practice and lifestyle. Also, having a strong support system with me every day ignites my inner fire! It is amazing that yoga and Instagram allows us to meet and become friends with people all around the world!
– Tina Wong
There are a few things I do to stay motivated to follow dreams that may take some time to achieve (hello, PhD). The first totally speaks to my Type-A Capricorn personality: I break up big tasks into smaller more easily and quickly achievable ones. Getting to check off a few tasks, which will ultimately add up to big achievements, helps me feel accomplished each day and motivated to take on the next!
The second thing I do is make sure to diversify my time. You can’t be motivated to reach your dreams if you’re totally burned out on what it takes to get there! I am sure to make time for play, and to constantly try new things. This year I started bouldering, got back into hiking and camping, went on a yoga retreat, and generally said “yes” to anything that might bring me joy and fulfilment.
Lastly, I get inspired by other inspiring people – especially other inspiring women. This comes in the form of my amazing family, my friends (both in real life and those whom I know only through the wonders of social media), my students, my teachers, music, and books. I’m currently re-reading Jen Sincero’sYou Are A Badass, which one year ago completely changed my outlook on life and encouraged me to start really going for my wildest dreams (I signed up for YTT shortly after I read it) and I’m looking forward to whatever it will inspire in me this time!
Every morning as my alarm goes off I think to my self: “Another day is starting!” I get dressed, I check my emails, log into Instagram to give some love, then I’m off to teach a class and start a new day. Just entering a studio means that yoga magic is starting.
As a yoga teacher, you become a friend and a support system; you’re a shoulder to cry on and a person that students can trust. Once that trust is built, they’re able to get what it is they need from the class. Students can have high expectations; Every single class, students
are researching their own depths and trusting you to guide them. The best way you can guide and support your students is to feed your inner fire for yourself.
I remember a day when I opened up a YouTube video of a yoga sequence and felt that fire rise inside me knowing this will be my calling. It was something I had never felt before. And as i continue on this journey, learning more about yoga and myself (through yoga), I found that without finding your own inner fire –your own glow – you are lost.
Every class I teach, I start with silent moments to bring the students’ thoughts and attention back to that inner fire – reaching for it, connecting to it, feeling it rising. Once the connection is made, the class can flow. The only thing left to do is let the fire burn.
Being a yoga teacher requires you to have super powers. And I know you are thinking I must be crazy but the truth is you need to be able to rise from the ashes every single day, like a Phoenix. Ignite the fire and let it guide you; Let it replenish you and do it all over again every single time you enter a class. Being a yoga teacher is so much more than just sharing your own love, your own fire. It is being able to see behind the curtains and being able to help the students find their own love, their own glow. It can be tiring but at the end of every single class you go home feeling whole. Knowing your own fire helped light someone’s day gives you a motive to let your fire burn brighter.
Fear is the word that pops into my mind as I try to think of what ignites my inner fire, and why I do what I do and how I stay motivated.
Thinking about my own fear, and acknowledging it, brings clarity into my life. Instead of pretending my fear does not exist or suppressing it, I realized that working with my fear is one of the most empowering things I can do for myself.
I fear many, many, many things and here are some of them:
I fear I’ll get bad skin, so I limit my consumption of chips to a bag a week instead of six.
I fear I won’t fit into my clothes, so I practice yoga and walk whenever I can.
I fear gum disease, so I floss and brush my teeth, and have routine dental checkups.
I fear falling out of my inversions, so I work on building strength and core stability.
I fear not being able to explore the world as I wait for friends to have days off, so I travel and backpack by myself.
I fear my niece and nephew are growing up too fast, so I find time and enjoy every moment I have with them.
I fear losing my loved ones, so I tell and show them I love them every day.
Working with fear is not about being or becoming fearless but instead it’s about using fear as an anchor; a tool to prepare myself to live life to the best I can.
Over the past few years, my motivation to staying healthy has transitioned through various stages. I have now reached a place in my life where I am learning to think about being healthy for more than myself; Working towards maintaining a healthy mind and body for the upcoming addition to my family is what sparks my inner fire.
It began with my goal of working towards having a healthy body. I was able to grasp this once I started my yoga practice, which is when I steered away from unhealthy foods, and quit smoking! Once I moved away from family, I became focused on achieving a spiritual state of mind. With the help of meditation, I began to feel more content and grateful, and was able to adapt to living in a new country. Practicing a healthy lifestyle takes a healthy mind and body to work together, something I learned once I found out I was expecting.
During pregnancy, you're not just working for yourself, you are working to sustain the life within you too. What you consume, and however your mood may be, both affect your little one. Living in a city where everyone thrives on hustle and bustle, where there is so much negativity that surrounds us, creating a loving and safe environment starts from within. I am inspired everyday to work on myself to make sure that my little one is healthy and happy, and will forever live that way.
– Zehra Khawaja
Fall is the season to rest and to re-energize. In Canada, as our days get shorter, greyer and colder, fall is often a difficult time. Depressions, colds, lack of motivation are common to most. So how do I continue going about my day, staying motivated and inspired? I take a deep breath and start walking with my head high and a smile on!
Listening to my body and to the seasons, I learned that sometimes we need to imitate nature and slow down. Comfort food, stews, hot chocolate, bundling up, using that fireplace, taking a warm bath with eucalyptus oils; I do things that make me feel good.
Engage and re-energize! Fall can be a good moment to reconnect with friends, laugh, go to the museum, do warm or hot yoga to replenish and charge-up themanipura chakra, light up our inner fire. Closely linked with self-confidence, I find that this ball of energy chakra really ignites my life and inspires me to follow my dreams.
As sunlight fades away, bringing colder and darker days, I find that spending even more time in or around nature has a truly beneficial effect on my mood. I walk my dog everyday early in the morning and often times, early enough to see the sunrise. Pausing in these instances to watch the sky transform minute by minute leaves me smiling, inspired and motivated.
So, laugh, run, smile, move, and breathe fully into this beautiful life you have the chance to enjoy. Notice the smallest things, the farthest sounds; become aware of your surroundings and be inspired.
I am a firm believer in surrounding myself with good people and energy. I wholeheartedly believe that good people, karma and energy help ignite a brighter light. I believe that eating colourful and leafy greens will make me a more vibrant individual. I believe that consuming ethical products will make my heart glow. I believe that by using products that are more naturally and ethically obtained, my own hair and skin will be more beautiful. I believe that the most brilliant people are the ones with kind hearts and good souls and funny laughs. Most importantly, I believe in surrounding myself with good company.
I am inspired daily by the incredible community of people in my life. I have a loving and supportive family, that have given me powerful opportunities and perspectives. I have a brother, whom I am watching flourish and become a unique individual, and who serves as a constant reminder that we are always growing and changing. I have a Nana, who is 81 years old and independently travels the world and marvels at beautiful cultures and countries; She is a reminder to explore and hold a full appreciation for this world. I have a boyfriend, who is also my best friend, who loves and cares for me in a way that is truly magical, and serves as a reminder of the goodness and power of love. I have a community of good people, who have amazing spirits and provide me with laughter, cuddles, late night dance parties, and raw, empowering discussions.
I am inspired daily by these people, and I take pieces and adopt parts of them and contribute it to my own desired self. I think it is important to create a healthy community for yourself – one that is challenging intellectually, and nourishing with fierce love and positivity. I am motivated daily by my community to be kind, thoughtful and purposeful in all that I do. Having a vibrant community not only fills my heart but ignites my fire. It’s the time spent cozied around a bonfire, laughing knee deep in fresh snow, and sharing well needed glasses of wine, that make me realize how bright the fire is in my cOMmunity.
– Alice Gillham
The inner fire is the vital energy within us; the unseen force that gives life to our being. Sometimes stress, fear, anxiety, and getting overwhelmed is drowning our inner fire deep inside us and quieting its voice. That’s the moment when we start feel unmotivated and unhappy with ourselves. When you neglect your inner fire energy, or otherwise do something that doesn’t resonate with it, you feel, well . . . not so good.
What I do in these moments? I try to do more of what I love to brighten my inner fire. For example, I love to recharge somewhere in the nature. I do lots of yoga, which helps me feel good not only physically, but mentally too.
It’s very important for me to have myme time. It is the time when I can truly hear myself and what my body and mind need. Also scheduling my time helps. I really need at least 30-60 minutes per day for things I love.
So through the experience of joy, faith, peace, love, passion, and, most importantly, the realization that I’m enough, I raise my inner energy.
– Nina Danilova