Where would intention be without inspiration? If intention is the fire then inspiration is the spark. Simply put, inspiration is the people, places and things that trigger a response in the form of ideas, actions or feelings. Inspiration can come in as many varied forms as what it inspires you to do, or not do. Strange that in a practice where we are told from our very first class that yoga is an inner journey, we draw so much of our inspiration from the external world. Of course those of us caught up in the external world and all its trappings can take heart in the irony of this!

Svadhyaya is one of the niyamas (non-restraints or obervances) in Patanjali’s yoga sutras. The sutras can be thought of as a “how to” of the practice of yoga. Classically defined as study of the sacred texts, svadhyaya is also taken to mean self-inquiry or self-study. When we take a step outside of ourselves to simply observe, we can get great insight into our emotions, thoughts and actions. This insight is critical to our inner journey— when we cast a discerning and non-judgemental eye on ourselves we find out what makes us tick, what inspires us to do and be more, even what “un-inspires” us to do and be “less.”

According to the yogic texts, at some point we can transcend the distractions of the outside world, even the “good” distractions. Maybe we’ll get there some day but for now, give us that inspiring song, that person that overcomes the odds, that something that leads us to do better things, be better people, to lead an inspired life.

Here are some of the things inspiring us these days:
Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter…Poem Only

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter…Poem and Full Talk
J Mac – A Hoop Dream
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home live @ KCRW

Nick Vujicic: Life without Limbs
Matt Cutts – Try Something New for 30 days
Amma Hugging the World
Sigur Ros’ Festival – one video version
Sigur Ros’ Festival – second video version

Watch James Franco in 127 Hours. This song alone is worth it!

What inspires you?