Becoming a Yogi

“Where to Start” (Intrinsic Motivation)


Where do you start? By using intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is defined as, “strive inwardly to be competent and self-determining in their quest to master the task at hand (Weinberg & Gould 2011, p.138).” Intrinsically motivated people do activities for the pleasure of learning something new, pleasure of mastering difficult tasks, or for the sheer joy of having fun (Weinberg & Gould 2011). Our goal for the nation is to get people moving through the use of yoga. 

First, find pleasure in learning something new and then master the difficult poses of yoga. In yoga you are often learning new things that challenge you, which some people may enjoy. Once someone has accomplished learning a new or difficult pose, many people find it to be a fun challenge to become a master of yoga. 

Second, learn to have FUN with yoga. I believe having fun is one of the most important parts of intrinsic motivation. Yoga can be a very enjoyable form of exercise because it is both challenging and can take you away from ‘worldly’ things. Yoga gives you time to mentally escape which can be very fun and relaxing. 


Finally, the way to start yoga is to take a class. Start with a beginner class so you can be introduced to what yoga is. Then decide for yourself if you want to learn more and become a master. Also, it would be great to learn from professionals so you can see why these people who have been practicing for years love yoga so much.

“How to Master” (Self-Mastery)


Self mastery refers to the power to control our actions, impulses, or emotions. “Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards; we simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials." (Coon & Mitterer, 2010) Yoga is seen as an activity in which an individual can find peace of mind through exercises that require mental concentration along with physical endurance. In order for an individual to actually “succeed” in the yoga fad, one must find the internal motivation within themselves to really perform the positions and exercises correctly. This means that our power we have within our own self-mastery must be very strong.


“Intrinsic motivation gives us a drive to complete certain tasks that give us internal satisfaction and pleasure.” (Brown, 2007) Performing yoga requires a high level of concentration. It requires that a person accepts the challenge to take on difficult positions and in turn, better their skill in flexibility and exercise. Yoga is also an activity that requires one to have self discipline and total control over their mind and their body at the same time.

Yoga may benefit individuals in healthy ways that include improving flexibility, lowering blood pressure, and treating depression, anxiety, and back pain. Those who participated in the yoga training showed decreased stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression as well as increased well being and vigor. This potentially could internally motivate an individual to better their self mastery and furthermore their well being and overall value of life.


Yoga may also improve individuals to better their self mastery even in the presence of a number of distractions. As human beings, most individuals have an internal motivation to learn new things throughout their lives. When people take yoga classes, they are constantly learning new positions and exercises that they can further use in the future every time they perform yoga. This can over time increase an individual’s confidence in yoga and give them a level of satisfaction they could not previously get from extrinsic motivation. 

“Learn from the Pros” (Authority)


Celebrities, who practice yoga regularly, advise their fans to do yoga because of the great outcome it can provide. Most celebrities will agree that not only does yoga help with maintenance of physique, but it also assists maintains stress levels and increased levels of relaxation and focus.

Jennifer Aniston has been doing yoga for a while now with her yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber. Mandy Ingber has thought of yoga to be a “positive message of loving your body into shape instead of beating yourself up” (Murray 2013). She also works with other famous faces such as Kate Beckinsale, Helen Hunt, and Brooke Shields. 

Michelle Williams’ states that yoga has helped cope with the death of her partner in many ways. Williams states, "Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother. I could come back to my daughter anew. And then I started to think about how expensive it is to get a babysitter to take a yoga class, which makes it out of reach for so many women... The idea behind the program is that if you can clear the time, we do the rest. It provides childcare while the mum is in the yoga class, and it's all free“(Wachob 2011).

Dwayne Wade, who uses yoga for his basketball skills states that “Yoga is a totally different way of stretching and really changing” (Murphy 2012). Wade also got team player, LeBron James to do yoga with him as well. Wade states that ever since yoga, he started eating vegetables after avoiding them for almost 30 years of his life.

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” BK Iyengar.


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